The House in Smyrna

CorreioRio.jpg

The key to The House in Smyrna is in Rio. Her grandfather brought it with him on the boat when he emigrated from Turkey. His granddaughter was born in Portugal, and is travelling all the way back, to see if it still fits in the front door. Is the front door even still there anymore? Smyrna is called İzmir now. What else has changed?

HouseSmyrnaLevyEntrekin1

The voice that jumps in is her mother’s. It’s understandable that she wants her daughter to remember the good things, not the suffering that she too endured, also in exile. These the sudden shifts in perspective make it more challenging to decipher what is “really happening”, and what isn’t. Which is not really surprising from a person whose identity is rooted in so many places and times.

HouseSmyrnaLevyEntrekin2

This is a book for people on the move, descended from people on the move, who can’t stop moving. Like her protagonist, Tatiana Salem Levy was born in Lisbon and lives between there and Rio. Her translator, Alison Entrekin, who also translated City of God, has moved from Australia to Brazil. The book has clearly struck a chord, as it has been translated into half a dozen languages already, including Turkish. This is not surprising, as The House in Smyrna is ultimately hopeful, as the heroine finds new relationships in the present, in places that belong to her past.

The photo is mine: a postbox in Rio di Janiero, taken last year outside someone else’s front door.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in books, translation

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Barańczak Beowulf Berlin Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Central Europe Children's Books Children's literature Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Clare Cavanagh Clarice Lispector Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Dari Edinburgh Festival English Estonian Facebook Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French friends George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hobbit Hungarian Idioms Illustration international International Translation Day Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Jewish Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin left-handed Literature Lola Rogers Lord of the Rings Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Old English Oxford English Dictionary PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Pippi Longstocking Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese pubilc libraries Queer Roald Dahl Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Ryszard Kapuściński Salla Simukka Seamus Heaney Shakespeare Short Stories Slovene Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Suomi100 Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Terhi Ekebom Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson Translation translator Translators Without Borders Turkey Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders

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

Follow found in translation on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: