Over the last twelve months, I’ve reviewed four other books by female authors translated into English, all of which I enjoyed.
Translated from German by Jen Calleja, Dance by the Canal by Kerstin Hensel is a cheerful novella about a cheerless subject: a woman who identifies as a writer and poet whose homeless is a challenge to the Communist ideal. With just the right balance of poignancy and humour and, while a novel of character, just enough plot, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors, in Misha Hoekstra’s translation from Danish, is a lovely story about navigating contemporary life as a single woman.
Through Marlaine Delargy’s translation, Swedish author Ninni Holnqvist asks, in her dystopian novel, The Unit, whether it’s reasonable for some lives can be sacrificed for the greater good. Finally, Icelandic author Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir’s Hotel Silence, a quirky upbeat story of a handyman who takes his toolbox and thoughts of suicide to an erstwhile tourist destination, recently ravaged by civil war, is translated by Brian FitzGibbon.
Credit to me for the range of languages, although only two are from outside Europe, but one every other month is not so impressive. Let’s see if I can do better in the twelve months to come.
For the first time this year I’ve exceeded every one of the reading targets I set myself for 2018, regarding independent publishers (83% – 10 books – against a 50% target), female authors (75% – 9 books – against a 50% target), BME authors (58% – 7 books – compared with a target of 25%), and translations (with 3 books – 25% – against a 20% target). Hurrah! I’ve also picked out one potential favourite of 2018 (Josephine Wilson’s Extinctions).