1918: Moonstone

This book jolts you into a world that feels simultaneously very long ago and far away, and startlingly modern. Maybe a century ago isn’t that long ago, after all? The orphan boy of the title is rooted in both a

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Posted in books, cinema, Dublin Literary Award, translation

Twelve Days: Six Catalan Poets

In the middle of the twelve days of Christmas, the year is turning. It’s a time to remember the good and bad in the year that’s fading, and perhaps to hope for something better in the year to come. One

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Posted in books, Christmas, language, poetry, translation

The Fox’s Carol

The year is about to turn – it is the shortest day. From here on in, the light returns, the days get longer. But when it’s this dark (for 19 hours a day, where I live), you have a better

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Posted in Christmas, Folklore, music, translation

Euridice Gusmao

Euridice Gusmao can turn her hand to absolutely anything, and very quickly become quite brilliant at it. But because she’s a woman in 1940s Rio, very few people see it that way. So things don’t turn out quite as they

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Posted in books, translation

Finland 100: The Core of the Sun

Finland turns 100 today. Although it’s the darkest and coldest time of the year, consuming the hottest chilli you can get your hands on might not be the obvious way to celebrate. Until you read this book and understand how horribly

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Posted in books, Finland 100, gender, translation

Lu Xun: Jottings under Lamplight

It takes a translator to transport you both ways. Lu Xun’s Jottings under Lamplight, edited by Eileen Cheng and Kirk Denton with a host of other translators, is an extraordinary portrait of an era that I knew almost nothing about… until

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Posted in books, history, translation

Mårbacka

As Finland’s centenary drew ever closer, I realised I had been neglecting her western neighbour in favour of the eastern one, which also has a big anniversary year. Selma Lagerlöf’s Mårbacka, published in the 1920s, seemed a good place to

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Posted in books, Nobel Prize in Literature, translation
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