Sales of translated fiction in the UK has sky-rocketed by an astonishing 96% over the past 15 years. Fantastic news in our opinion! We are celebrating by listing our favourite translated books from the blog. All translated novels can be found in the drop-down menu under ‘Reviews’ on the home page.
The House of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazan – very funny, colourful, raunchy and exquisitely written, I cannot recommend this Spanish classic, set amongst an aristocracy in decline, highly enough. I will, for sure, read this book again.
The Infatuations by Javier Marias – another Spanish literary genius. A cerebral murder mystery written in the most beautiful prose you can imagine. When you know how Marias writes, without revision or a plan, it’s even more impressive.
Hygiene and the Assassin by Amelie Nothombe – a battle of wits between a grumpy Nobel Laureate and a brave female journalist who succeeds where all her male colleagues have failed. Wonderfully unique, immensely clever and absurdly humorous from French author Amelie Nothombe.
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante – we’ve all heard of her Neapolitan novels, but have you read any of her other books? Days of Abandonment is a stunning portrayal of the break-down of a marriage and the sense of betrayal, loneliness and desperation that follows. Written with such empathy that you can’t help but think Ferrante has been through this herself.
The Door by Magda Szabo – based on the Hungarian writer’s own housekeeper (a housekeeper from hell or heaven?), their precarious relationship and a secret life story. Both very funny and very sad.
The Life Before Us by Emile Ajar – a Prix Goncourt winner and the best-selling French novel of the 20th century, The Life Before Us is life seen through the eyes of 10 year old Arab orphan Momo, an ‘adopted’ resident of Madame Rosa’s Paris brothel. Darkly funny and a scathing attack on France’s treatment of immigrants. It’s time someone re-published this great book with an updated cover.
…and if you are intrigued by the rise in translated sales click here for more details.