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Tiger, tiger, burning bright

An odd choice for Valentine’s Day, perhaps? Bear with me, you’ll see. In Blake’s image, a woman powered with sunlight faces down a dragon.  This ultimate battle between good and evil from the Book of Revelation is the cover image

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Posted in books, gender, poetry, translation, Valentine's Day

The House in Smyrna

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

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Posted in books, translation

Rilke Shake

Two! Brazilian women in English translation on the ALTA national translation award long list. Is it the Olympic effect? Clarice Lispector is a heavyweight contender, but here’s something new, featherlight and deft from the south. It probably weighs less than

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Posted in Best Translated Book Award, books, gender, poetry, translation, Women in Translation Month

Clarice: Kafkaesque witchcraft from Rio

“Be careful with Clarice,” the writer’s friend warned a reader. “It’s not literature, it’s witchcraft.” Clarice Lispector was born not so very far away from Kafka and Schulz, and you can tell. That particular magically impossible way of weaving a

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Posted in books, short stories, translation, Women in Translation Month

Take the City Home

It’s autumn holiday week here – the sun is retreating, schools are on mid-term break, and summer is starting to seem like a distant memory. It’s time to escape the daily grind if at all possible. But what will you

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Posted in books, literature, poetry

Now and at the Hour of our Death

This beautiful book is published by And Other Stories this week. It isn’t easy to write about the dying and their loved ones without falling into clichés and platitudes, especially in such a beautiful setting as rural northern Portugal: “Grass

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Posted in books, Edinburgh Festival

Women in Translation Month: ‘Portuguese Pussy Riot’ turns 40

August is Women in Translation Month, as declared by Biblibio: A whole month to read women in translation, a perfect summer holiday project. The dust is settling around Kamila Shamsie’s challenge to only publish women, with And Other Stories taking up the challenge –

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Posted in literature, translation
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