new year, new translation: the assassin from apricot city

assasin_cover_smallWhat does the rest of the world look like in the eyes of the rest of the world?

That’s something we can never know.

But good journalism in good translation can help.

It’s not a good idea to have a very long to-read list at the start of the New Year. There are enough “notable translations of 2013”  to read a book a week for the next 18 months.

So let’s pick just one. It’s been showered with awards, it was only published in English a few weeks ago, but most importantly, it’s very readable.

Witold Szabłowski’s The Assassin from Apricot City reports from all corners Turkey, a country he knows inside out. 

Like Ryszard Kapuściński before him, this is a young Pole on an adventure to get talking to the people who don’t normally make the papers. He “scoured Turkish bazaars tracing the story of the shoe that the Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi threw at George W. Bush,” as New Literature from Europe notes.

The translator, Antonia Lloyd-Jones, is well known for her translations of Paweł Huelle, Olga Tokarczuk, and – Ryszard Kapuściński.

You can read lots of extracts online here, including this one:

My pal Yusuf was a really good friend. When his money ran out, the hotel owner offered him a job on the night shift. Every time I went to Istanbul I would drop in there for a cup of coffee.

‘Istanbul is an incredible city,’ he said. ‘Here you’ll find the sort of people who’ll share their last crust of bread with you, as well as the sort who’ll cut out your kidneys and dump you in the canal.’

He was looking for the first kind; I hope he found them, because a year ago he sent me an e-mail saying: ‘I’m learning to swim ‘:-)’.

I asked: ‘Are you moving on?’ Again he replied: ‘:-)’.

Translator, editor, writer, reader

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in international, language, translation
2 comments on “new year, new translation: the assassin from apricot city
  1. […] In London, the British Library has two events. First, the words: dystopian crime writers including the fabulous Witold Szablowski, whom you might remember. […]

  2. […] Szabłowski’s The Assassin from Apricot City, translated from the Polish by Antonia-Lloyd Jones, is one of four of her translations of global […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Beowulf Berlin Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Catalan Children's Books China Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Danish Dari David Hackston Dublin Literary Award English Estonian Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finlandia Prize Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hungarian Iceland Idioms Illustration India international International Translation Day Irish Gaelic Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin Literature Lola Rogers Lord of the Rings Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Nobel Prize for Literature Norwegian Old English Olga Tokarczuk Owen Witesman Oxford English Dictionary Penguin PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese Pushkin Press Queer Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Salla Simukka Second World War Short Stories Sofi Oksanen Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Suomi100 Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson transation Translation translator Translators Without Borders Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders writing YA

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow found in translation on
%d bloggers like this: