One of my primary goals in 2014 is to read more translations. I barely read any this year – I think I counted one. So for the past few days, I have been researching translations and deciding which ones are high on my list for 2014. Here are a few options that have me wishing I had a bigger book budget!
The Light and the Dark by Mikhail Shishkin – Two lovers separated not only by space, but also time, exchange love letters. Shishkin is the only writer to have won all three of Russia’s top literary prizes. This Guardian review convinced me that this is a book that I will fall in love with.
Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Kai-cheung Dung – A fictional world with a lost city called Victoria and the future archaeologists who try to reconstruct it. Dung has been compared to Umberto Eco, Jorge Luis Borges, and Italo Calvino.
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino – When I mentioned my quest to read more translations, Aarti suggested Italo Calvino and her favorite of his, Invisible Cities. It seems like there are some similarities between Atlas and Invisible Cities, so I think it might be fun to read them side by side.
If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino – This has been on my TBR for so long! It also happened to be the Kindle Daily Deal the other day, so obviously the universe wants me to read If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler.
A Dictionary of Maqiao by Han Shaogong – The reviews of this one sound amazing, so it breaks my heart a little bit that I’ve never heard of this 2005 novel set in a fictional Chinese village. The novel is organized like a dictionary of the dialect of the town, with each entry a vignette.
The World of the End by Ofir Touche Gafla – This post over at Tor.com has been a great jumping off point for finding science fiction and fantasy novels in translation. For once, I am recommending you read the comments. Ben is destroyed by his wife’s death and is determined to find her, even if that means joining her in the afterlife.
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma – This book looks like so much fun! Here is the copy from Goodreads: “Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.” Obviously I will be reading this.
I’m hoping to read a lot more translations in 2014, though, so if you have recommendations, please share!