A few days ago the 2017 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist was announced (there are twenty-five titles) and each book will be showcased between now and the forthcoming list of finalists. Finally a list where I have read one of the books, have another in progress and own several more. It is a reminder, however, of how few books in translation I have read this year and a reminder, too, that I need to be aware of and choose to read more books in translation. The Three Percent Blog focuses entirely on translated works and the international authors and translators whose names should be much more widely known. The 'three percent' comes from the paltry number of books that are published here in the US, which are translated works. I try and read as many translated books as I can in a year and I hope by the end that I'll have read far more than 3% of my own total.
The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette (may have to pull this from my library's shelves as I have wanted to read it and have read good reviews)
The Young Bride by Alessandro Baricco, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (I've just ordered this one)
Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya, translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell
Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lucio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson
On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
Zama by Antonio di Benedetto, translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen
A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska, translated from the Macedonian by Christina Kramer (I don't think I have ever read anything written in Macedonian before--should check this one out!)
Doomi Golo by Boubacar Boris Diop, translated from the Wolof by Vera Wulfing-Leckie and El Hadji Moustapha Diop (the author is from Senegal and this is the first novel to be translated from Wolof to English--should also check this one out!)
Night Prayers by Santiago Gamboa, translated from the Spanish by Howard Curtis (another one I just ordered as it had been on my wishlist)
Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap, translated from the German by Tess Lewis
War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, translated from the Dutch by David McKay (I am waiting for a library copy of this--I requested it by chance before seeing it show up on this list)
Umami by Laia Jufresa, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes
Last Wolf and Herman by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by John Batki
Oblivion by Sergei Lebedev, translated from the Russian by Antonina W. Bouis
Thus Bad Begins by Javier marias, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump
Among Strange Victims by Daniel Saldana Paris, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
Moonstone by Sjon, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky
Vampire in Love by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
My Marriage by Jakob Wasserman, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann
Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto, translated from the Japanese by Asa Yoneda (am thinking of reading this one soon)
Super Extra Grande by Yoss, translated from the Spanish by David Frye
As for my own current reading pile--I've got two books in translation on the go and have three more from the library that I just brought home and hope to work into my reading very soon. I'm nearly finished reading Bohumil Hrabal's Closely Watched Trains which is translated from the Czech by Edith Pargeter, and Seicho Matsumoto's A Quiet Place, which is a Japanese crime novel published in the mid-1970s and translated from Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai. Matsumoto has been called Japan's Georges Simenon (he wrote something like 400+ books . . . why hasn't more been translated . . . he passed away in 1992).
My newest library finds: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors and translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra; Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg and translated from the Polish by Eliza Marciniak and The Breaking of a Wave by Fabio Genovesi and translated from the Italian by Will Shutt.
Isn't it great to know that the world and all its stories (or lots of them) is literally at our fingertips through the pages of good books? And then you wonder what wonderful stories are out there that we can't read as they are not being translated.