#RivetingReads: Reading Europe – A User’s Guide October 2018

At the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sun 7 Oct 2018 Sebastian Faulks hosted a panel of European Literature Specialists.

A reminder of the Reading Europe event:

In these fraught times with so much talk around borders, walls and divisions, it feels more important than ever to be thinking and reading widely. In what may well be our last Festival still in the EU, Guest Curator Sebastian Faulks assembles a crack team of translators, writers and publishers committed to getting us to read beyond our borders: novelist and Man Booker International judge Elif Shafak, acclaimed translator Daniel Hahn, European literature specialist Rosie Goldsmith and publisher Christopher MacLehose, who is responsible for introducing authors as diverse as Haruki Murakami, Javier Marías, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson to British readers.

At the end of this wonderful session, Sebastian asked all of us on the panel to recommend some favourite books, contemporary or classic. Here at the European Literature Network we are delighted to publish the panel’s list of Recommended Riveting Reads.

 

 

We’d like to dedicate this list to the late, very great translator Anthea Bell, who died this month. ANYTHING she translated, from Kafka to Freud to Julia Franck, makes for a Riveting Read, but you must start with her translations of ASTERIX – all 30 books. When you’ve finished those (!), here’s our list:

 

THE UNSEEN (Norway)

by Roy Jacobsen

Tr. Don Bartlett

 

THE RETURN (Portugal)

by Dulce Maria Cardosa

Tr. Angel Gurria-Quintana

 

THE YEAR OF THE DEATH OF RICARDO REIS (Portugal)

by Jose Saramago

Tr. Giovanni Pontiero

 

VISITATION (German)

by Jenny Erpenbeck

Tr. Susan Bernofsky

 

THE RINGS OF SATURN (Germany)

by W.G. Sebald

Tr. by Michael Hulse

 

SUN ALLEY (Romania)

by Cecilia Stefanescu

Tr. Alexandar Coliban and Andreea Hofer

 

LAND OF GREEN PLUMS (Romania/Germany)

by Herta Muller

Tr. Michael Hofmann

 

MEMOIRS OF A POLAR BEAR (Germany/Japan)

by Yoko Tawada

Tr. Susan Bernofsky

 

TO THE BACK OF BEYOND (Switzerland)

by Peter Stamm

Tr. Michael Hofmann

 

THE TRAITORS HEAD (Albania)

by Ismail Kadare

Tr. John Hodgson

 

THE PALACE OF DREAMS (Albania)

by Ismail Kadare

Tr. Barbara Bray, from the French of Jusuf Vrioni

 

BELLADONNA (Croatia)

by Daša Drndic

Tr. Celia Hawkesworth

 

FLIGHTS (Poland)

by Olga Tokarczuk

Tr. Jennifer Croft

 

SWALLOWING MERCURY (Poland)

by Wioletta Greg

Tr. Eliza Marciniak

 

LIFE AND FATE (Ukraine/Russia)

by Vasily Grossman

Tr. Robert Chandler

 

Author: Alexander Solzhenistyn (Russia)

Various but above all ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

Tr. Harry Willetts

 

Author: Boris Akunin (Russia)

Various: The Erast Fandorin series of crime novels set in 19th century St. Petersburg

Tr. Andrew Bromfield

 

THE JOURNAL OF HELENE BERR (France)

by Hélène Berr (written in English; “The French Anne Frank”)

 

W, OR THE MEMORY OF CHILDHOOD (France)

by Georges Perec

Tr. David Bellos

 

A DARK STRANGER (France)

by Julien Gracq

Tr. Christopher Moncrieff


THE OPPOSING SHORE (France)

by Julien Gracq

Tr. by Richard Howard

 

BRODECK’S REPORT (France)

by Philippe Claudel

Tr. by John Cullen

 

KARATE CHOP (Denmark)

by Dorthe Nors

Tr. Martin Aitken

 

THE HISTORY OF DANISH DREAMS (Denmark)

by Peter Høeg

Tr. by Barbara Haveland

 

ANATOMY OF A MOMENT (Spain)

by Javier Cercas

Tr. Anne McLean

 

WAR AND TURPENTINE (Belgium)

by Stefan Hertmans

Tr. David McKay

 

THE TWIN (Netherlands)

by Gerbrand Bakker

Tr. David Colmer

 

THE FOLLOWING STORY (Netherlands)

By Cees Nooteboom

Tr. Ina Rilke

 

ISTANBUL, ISTANBUL (Turkey)

by Burhan Sönmez

Tr. Ümit Hussein

 

SEHER (“DAWN”) (Turkey)

by Selahattin Demirtas

Short stories – not yet translated into English. Read more here.

 

LIKE A SWORD WOUND (Turkey) 

by Ahmet Altan

Tr. Brendan Freely, Yelda Türedi

 

A HEART SO WHITE (Spain)

by Javier Marias

Tr. Margaret Jull Costa

 

THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (Italy/Sardinia)

by Salvatore Satta

Tr. Patrick Creagh

 

HISTORY, a novel (Italy)

by Elsa Morante

Tr. William Weaver

 

INDEPENDENT PEOPLE (Iceland)

by Halldór Laxness

Tr. J.A. Thompson

 

THE DOOR (Hungary)

by Magda Szabó

Tr. by Len Rix

Category: Reads

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