A spotlight on translated fiction this month

We’re recommending some recently released fiction in translation. Fiction in translation is a wonderful gateway into storytelling the world over and we’re increasingly excited by the quality and breadth of what is available to us; this month is no exception.


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Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura (translated by Philip Gabriel)

How can you save your friend’s life if she doesn’t want to be rescued? In a tranquil neighbourhood of Tokyo, seven teenagers wake to find their bedroom mirrors are shining.

At a single touch, they are pulled from their lonely lives to a wondrous castle filled with winding stairways, watchful portraits and twinkling chandeliers. In this new sanctuary, they are confronted with a set of clues leading to a hidden room where one of them will be granted a wish. But there’s a catch: if they don’t leave the castle by five o'clock, they will all die. As time passes, a devastating truth emerges: only those brave enough to share their stories will be saved. Tender, playful, gripping, _Lonely Castle in the Mirror is a mesmerizing tale about the importance of reaching out, confronting anxiety and embracing human connection.


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First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami (translated by Philip Gabriel)

The eight masterly stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music and an ardent love of baseball to dreamlike scenarios, an encounter with a talking monkey and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Murakami himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.

Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory… all with a signature Murakami twist.


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The Missing by Dirk Kurbjuweit (translated by Imogen Taylor)

Hanover, 1923. Boys are vanishing, one after another, without a trace. At first police suspect political motivations-perhaps the missing boys are communists, defecting to the newly formed USSR, or victims of the rising Nazi Party.

Soon, however, Inspector Robert Lahnstein begins to believe even more sinister forces are at play: is a killer at work? Can Lahnstein track down the murderer before he takes another victim?

Based on the true crimes of Fritz Haarmann, the fabled Butcher of Hanover, this gripping new novel by Dirk Kurbjuweit explores the depths of human depravity and offers a dark portrait of justice during the Weimar Republic.


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How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino (translated by Bruno Navasky)

Publishing in English for the very first time, Japan’s beloved coming of age classic on what really matters in life.

The streets of Tokyo swarm below fifteen year-old Copper as he gazes out into the city of his childhood. Struck by the thought of the infinite people whose lives play out alongside his own, he begins to wonder, how do you live?

Considering life’s biggest questions for the first time, Copper turns to his dear uncle for heart-warming wisdom. As the old man guides the boy on a journey of philosophical discovery, a timeless tale unfolds, offering a poignant reflection on what it means to be human.


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The Black Cathedral by Marcial Gala (translated by Anna Kushner)

The Stuart family moves to a marginal neighborhood of Cienfuegos, a city on the southern coast of Cuba. Arturo Stuart, a charismatic, visionary preacher, discovers soon after arriving that God has given him a mission: to build a temple that surpasses any before seen in Cuba, and to make of Cienfuegos a new Jerusalem.

In a neighborhood that roils with passions and conflicts, at the foot of a cathedral that rises higher day by day, there grows a generation marked by violence, cruelty, and extreme selfishness. This generation will carry these traits beyond the borders of the neighborhood, the city, and the country, unable to escape the shadow of the unfinished cathedral. The Black Cathedral is a darkly comic indictment of modern Cuba, gritty and realistic but laced with magic. It is a portrait of what remains when dreams of utopia have withered away.


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Invisible Ink by Patrick Modiano (translated by Mark Polizzotti)

The latest work from Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, Invisible Ink is a spellbinding tale of memory and its illusions.

Private detective Jean Eyben receives an assignment to locate a missing woman, the mysterious Noëlle Lefebvre. While the case proves fruitless, the clues Jean discovers along the way continue to haunt him. Three decades later, he resumes the investigation for himself, revisiting old sites and tracking down witnesses, compelled by reasons he can’t explain to follow the cold trail and discover the shocking truth once and for all.

A number one best seller in France, Invisible Ink is Modiano’s most thrilling and revelatory work to date.


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Higher Ground by Anke Stelling (translated by Lucy Jones)

Resi is a writer in her mid-forties, married to Sven, a painter. They live, with their four children, in an apartment building in Berlin, where their lease is controlled by some of their closest friends. Only Resi and Sven, the token artists of their social circle, are renting. As the years have passed, Resi has watched her once-dear friends become more and more ensconced in the comforts and compromises of money, success, and the nuclear family.

After Resi’s latest book openly criticises stereotypical family life and values, she receives a letter of eviction. Incensed by the true natures and hard realities she now sees so clearly, Resi sets out to describe the world as it really is for her fourteen-year-old daughter, Bea.

Written with dark humour and clarifying rage, Anke Stelling’s novel is a ferocious and funny account of motherhood, parenthood, family, and friendship thrust into battle. Lively, rude, and wise, it throws down the gauntlet to those who fail to interrogate who they have become.

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Lonely Castle in the Mirror

Lonely Castle in the Mirror

Mizuki Tsujimura, Philip Gabriel

$32.99Buy now

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