One of our September displays is “Translated Fiction”. Here are just a few of the titles in the Curtis collection. The list below represents a variety of languages and countries, new fiction as well as classics by Nobel Prize winners. Click on the title to check availability and request.
Present Tense Machine by Gunnhild Øyehaug translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson (2022)
On an ordinary day in Bergen, Norway, in the late 1990s, Anna is reading in the garden while her two-year-old daughter, Laura, plays on her tricycle. Then, in one startling moment, Anna misreads a word, an alternate universe opens up, and Laura disappears. Twenty years or so later, life has gone on as if nothing happened, but in each of the women’s lives, something is not quite right. Both Anna and Laura continue to exist, but they are invisible to each other and forgotten in each other’s worlds.
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein (2020)
Giovanna’s pretty face has changed: it’s turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself? She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez translated from Spanish by Gregory Rabassa (1967)
The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendia family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo one sees all of Latin America. Author was winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo translated from Japanese by Bryan Karetnyk (2021)
Nestled deep in the mist-shrouded mountains, The Village of Eight Graves takes its name from a bloody legend: in the Sixteenth Century eight samurais, who had taken refuge there along with a secret treasure, were murdered by the inhabitants, bringing a terrible curse down upon their village. Centuries later a mysterious young man named Tatsuya arrives in town, bringing a spate of deadly poisonings in his wake. The inimitably scruffy and brilliant Kosuke Kindaichi investigates.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson translated from Norwegian by Anne Born (2005)
An early morning adventure out stealing horses leads to the tragic death of one boy and a resulting lifetime of guilt and isolation for his friend, in this moving tale about the painful loss of innocence and of traditional ways of life that are gone forever.
Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing by Maryla Szymiczkowa translated from Polish by Antonio Lloyd-Jones (2020)
A charming, witty, and deliciously spooky mystery, inspired by the work of Agatha Christie, following a bored socialite who becomes Cracow’s most cunning amateur sleuth. First in the Zofia Turbotynska mysteries.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated from Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (1866)
Determined to overreach his humanity and assert his untrammeled individual will, Raskolnikov, an impoverished student living in the St. Petersburg of the Tsars, commits an act of murder and theft and sets into motion a story which, for its excruciating suspense, its atmospheric vividness, and its profundity of characterization and vision, is almost unequaled in the literatures of the world.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco translated from Italian by William Weaver (1994)
In 1327, finding his sensitive mission at an Italian abbey further complicated by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William of Baskerville turns detective.
The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramago translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (2008)
In 1551, the King of Portugal makes a diplomatic move by giving Austria an elephant. The elephant’s trek across Europe is followed in this amusing, fablelike narrative. Author was winner of Nobel Prize in Literature.
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende translated from Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden (1999)
In 1849, Eliza Sommers follows her fiance to California, where he has gone in search of gold. Her experiences in the harsh land gripped by gold fever transform her.
Lemon by Yeo-sun Kwon translated from Korean by Janet Hong (2021)
In the summer of 2002, when Korea is abuzz over hosting the FIFA World Cup, eighteen-year-old Kim Hae-on is killed in what becomes known as the High School Beauty Murder. Two suspects quickly emerge: no evidence can be pinned on either, the case goes cold. Seventeen years pass without any resolution for those close to Hae-on, and the grief and uncertainty take a cruel toll on her younger sister.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata translated from Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori (2018)
Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends.
Zulu by Caryl Ferey translated from French by Howard Curtis (2010)
Ali Neuman, the chief of the Cape Town police crime unit, investigates the murder of Nicole Wiese, found in the city’s botanical gardens, and the trail soon leads him to a brutal narcotics gang with links to a former official.
What You Can See From Here by Mariana Leky translated from German by Tess Lewis (2021)
In this international bestseller by the award-winning novelist Mariana Leky, a heartwarming story unfolds about a small town, a grandmother whose dreams foretell a coming death, and the young woman forever changed by these losses and her loving, endearingly oddball community.
Call Me Cassandra by Marcial Gala translated from Spanish by Anna Kushner (2022)
A darkly magical tale of a haunted young dreamer, born in the wrong body and time, and believing himself to be a doomed prophetess from ancient Greek mythology.
The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh translated from Vietnamese by Phan Thanh Hao (1995)
Kien’s job is to search the Jungle of Screaming Souls for corpses. He knows the area well this was where, in the dry season of 1969, his battalion was obliterated by American napalm and helicopter gunfire. Kien was one of only ten survivors. This book is his attempt to understand the eleven years of his life he gave to a senseless war.
Independent People by Halldor Laxness translated from Icelandic by J.A. Thompson (1946)
In an epic set in Iceland in the early twentieth century, Gudbjartur Jonsson buys his own croft after eighteen years of service to the local bailiff, and brings his wife and his small flock of sheep there to build a new, independent life for himself. Author was winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Cowboy Graves: Three Novellas by Roberto Bolano translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer (2021)
An unexpected treasure from the vault of a master of contemporary fiction. These three fiercely original tales bear the signatures of Bolano’s extraordinary body of work, echoing the strange characters and uncanny scenes of his great triumphs, while deepening our understanding of his profound gifts.
When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen translated from Finnish by Lola Rogers (2015)
In 1941 war-ravaged Estonia, two men have deserted the Red Army–Roland and cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar leaves his wife to join the Nazi regime. In1963 Edgar is a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland’s, and his wife, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth.
Hard Like Water by Yan Lianke translated from Chinese by Carlos Rojas (2021)
Two young, Chinese revolutionaries, Gao Aijun and the beautiful Xia Hongmei, hide their relationship and their communist fervor from their spouses and members of their small Henan village by digging a rendezvous tunnel between their houses.
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely (2009)
Ending his engagement to pursue a married cousin, Kemal unsuccessfully woos the woman over the course of nine years, during which he amasses personal effects that reflect his obsession and render him a laughingstock among his peers. Author was winner of Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Faces by Tove Ditlevson translated from Danish by Tiina Nunnally (2022)
Copenhagen, 1968. Lise, a children’s book writer and married mother of three, is increasingly haunted by disembodied faces and voices. She is convinced that her husband, already extravagantly unfaithful, will leave her. Most of all, she is scared that she will never write again.
The Queue by Basma Abel Aziz translated from Arabic by Elizabeth Jaquette (2016)
In a surreal, but familiar, vision of modern day Egypt, a centralized authority known as ‘the Gate’ has risen to power in the aftermath of the ‘Disgraceful Events,’ a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate in order to take care of even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the Gate never opens, and the queue in front of it grows longer.
The Others by Sarah Blau translated from Hebrew by Daniella Zamir (2021)
As soon as Sheila hears the news, she knows the police will be calling. Dina Kaminer–one of Israel’s preeminent feminist scholars and Sheila’s oldest friend–has been found murdered, the word ‘mother’ carved into her forehead and a baby doll fixed to her hands. For Sheila, that word is a warning. Two decades before, she and Dina had joined a group of women who swore they would never have children. Instead, they would follow the example of the Others, women the Torah considered childless, but they saw as willingly child-free. Sheila has upheld her vow year after year, even as her friendship with Dina fell apart. But now, as more women turn up dead, each transformed into a mother against her will, Sheila must decide if she’s made the right choice . . . and who might want to make her pay the ultimate price.
Greedy Flames by Miguel Anxo Fernandez translated from Galician by Kathleen March (2018)
Frank Soutelo has left behind the stress of his Los Angeles life and is taking a break in his ancestral home of Galicia in northwest Spain. At least, that is the plan. Upon his arrival Frank learns of a forest fire outside of the Galician capital whose origins are unknown. In addition, old friends of Frank’s refuse to believe their son died of an overdose and ask Frank to investigate.
The Clown by Heinrich Böll translated from German by Leila Vennewitz (1965)
During telephone calls to family and friends, a talented German mime recalls his past and his relationships during the Hitler years and in the postwar period. Author was winner of Nobel Prize in Literature.
Black Ice by Carin Gerhardsen translated from Swedish by Ian Giles (2021)For Sandra it started as an unremarkable wintery day of shopping followed by a kind gesture from a stranger. For Jeanette it began with the thrill of an illicit rendezvous with her lover. Both women had driven past the same icy ravine, but only one was in the car that caused a deadly crash, and only one left a man to die alone in the snow. Each carried a secret from that day, a secret that, if revealed, could connect them to a larger, more terrible transgression… And there is someone out there who knows the whole picture, and who would rather kill than allow it all to come to light.
The Dinner by Herman Koch translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett (2012)
Two couples meet for dinner in Amsterdam. Behind their polite conversation, terrible things need to be said; each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The boys are united by their accountability for horrific act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the worlds of their families.
Among the Lost by Emiliano Monge translated from Spanish by Frank Wynne (2019)
In the desolate wastelands between the sierra and the jungle, under an all-seeing, unforgiving sun, a single day unfolds as relentlessly as those that have gone before. People are trafficked and brutalised, illegal migrants are cheated of their money, their dreams, their very names, even as countless others scrabble to cross the border, trying to reach a land they call El Paraiso.
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