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Empty Words

“This book might change your life, or at least your handwriting.” Alejandro Zambra is not wrong about Mario Levrero’s Empty Words. Annie McDermott’s translation, out last Thursday, might just do the same for you. There are plenty of “how to

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Posted in books, translation, words

People in the Room

The three sisters sit at the window. From the apartment across the way, their faces are lit up, as in a (rather famous, rather older) portrait. The narrator watches them from her living room window is like a spy; she

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Posted in books, translation

The Remainder

“Every now and then a book makes my fingers itch to translate it from the very first pages,” says Sophie Hughes. This is one of those books; her translation of Alia Trabucco Zerán’s The Remainder. Zerán’s generation are the children of Pinochet’s

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Posted in books, history, literature, translation

The Gurugu Pledge

The stories start long before they even try to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Telling them on the mountain takes time and trust. Sometimes it’s better to wait until the lights go out, but then the griots to get going: This

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Posted in books, translation

The private lives of Barcelona

Barcelona is changing. The socialists are on the rise, the ruling class is in decline, and the Catholic Church with it. Modern women are doing things their mothers would never have dreamed of doing, let alone in public. More and

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Posted in books, literature, translation

Extracting the stone of madness

Extracting the Stone of Madness, Hieronymus Bosch c. 1494, Museo del Prado, Madrid Surgery to ‘treat’ mental illness 500 years ago was no joke. You would have a hole drilled into your skull to take the madness out. Is this what Alejandra

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Posted in Best Translated Book Award, books, translation

The Proof

Mostly, I’m just really glad I’m not sixteen any more. The crushing insecurity then is exacerbated by 24/7 bullying on social media now – not to mention the knife crime, the violence, who’d want it? Marcia doesn’t seem to like it much

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Posted in books, translation
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