Powerful poetic voices from the Italian past, children’s poems about home life, an apocalyptic vision of an ancient town, a life memoir, reflections on life and on death – this is what Inpress’ list of translated books in June encompasses. Diverging from each other in topic, genre, size and aims, all these books share a strong innovative and non-mainstream character.
A PLAYFUL TWIST TO THE CONCEPT OF SELF-REPRESENTATION
Selfies by Sylvie Weil, translated by Ros Schwartz (Les Fugitives)
Taking selfies is not the exclusive preserve of millennials.
In Selfies, Sylvie Weil gives a playful twist to the concept of self-representation: taking her cue from self-portraits by women artists, ranging from the 13th c. through the Renaissance to Frida Kahlo and Vivian Maier, Weil has written a memoir in pieces, where each picture acts as a portal to a significant moment from her own life and sparks anecdotes tangentially touching on topical issues: from the Palestinian question to the pain of a mother witnessing her son’s psychotic breakdown, to the subtle manifestations of anti-Semitism, to ageism, genetics, and a Jewish dog...
POETRY FROM RURAL ITALY
Isabella, poems by Isabella Morra and translator Caroline Maldonado (Smokestack Books).
This collection is the first complete UK edition of poems by the powerful sixteenth-century Italian poet Isabella Morra. Living in strict isolation in the family castle of Valsinni, Isabella was murdered by her own brothers in an honour killing at the young age of twenty-six. Poet and translator Caroline Maldonado explores Morra’s life and fate, her time and her space in the South of Italy. Maldonado’s own poems are an attempt to ‘find’ Isabella and to show how her tragic experience is very relevant to us today.
You can read our interview with Caroline Maldonado here, where she explains how she discovered this forgotten young poet and how this challenging translation project started and developed.
The Last Walk of Giovanni Pascoli, translated and introduced by Danielle Hope (Rockingham Press).
We are glad to announce the publication of the only English translation this side of the Atlantic (apart from Seamus Heaney’s limited edition) of poems by the great Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli. This book is made up of poems and vignettes of rural life, the latter illustrated by Frances Wilson, who is also the front cover’s designer.
GROUND-BREAKING, CONTEMPORARY FICTION FROM ‘SMALLER’ LANGUAGES
The Olcinium Trilogy by Andrej Nikolaidis, translated by Will Firth (Istros Books).
This unique collection brings together three previous short novels by this acclaimed author: The Son, The Coming and Till Kingdom Come. In Nikolaidis’ stories, the ancient town of Olcinium is a place where mystics have prophesized, regimes have plotted against their citizenry, and ordinary people have resorted to crime. You will simply love this writer’s precise and bitingly funny prose and his novels’ hopeless and misanthrope protagonists.
If you are particularly interested in fiction from the Balkans in translation, read our interview with experienced and talented translators from Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian Christina Pribichevic-Zoric (here) and Celia Hawkesworth (here). Our congratulations to Celia who has just been awarded the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2019!
Transfer Window by Maria Gerhardt, translated by Lindy Falk van Rooyen (Nordisk Books).
Our Translated Book of the Month this June, Transfer Window is the utopian re-imagining of the North-Copenhagen suburbs as a walled, luxurious hospice for the terminally ill, drawing upon and re-elaborating the author’s experience as a terminal cancer patient, mixing dream and reality to create a compelling piece of fiction.
The translator from Danish Lindy Falk van Rooyen has helped us to explore this unique book’s structure and features in her very interesting interview (read here).
NEW FROM STRANGERS PRESS: FICTION FROM KOREA
Yeoyu: the full set (Strangers Press).
Strangers Press’ new translation project is here! We are very excited to launch Yeoyu: a series of eight exquisitely designed chapbooks showcasing some of today’s best Korean writers, featuring the work of both new voices and established writers such as Bae Suah and prize-winning Han Kang. The eight titles have been selected in consultation with trailblazer and publisher-activist, award-winning Deborah Smith.
CHILDREN’S POETRY IN TRANSLATION
New for children this month is Super Guppy by Edward van de Vendel, illustrated by Fleur van der Weel and translated from the Dutch by David Colmer (The Emma Press).
This new illustrated children’s book is a funny, contemporary collection of children’s poems about home life, perfect for curious children who have a lot of questions about how the world, and everything in it, works! The book also includes writing prompts to let children write their own poems!
Are you a curious person too and are you wondering what it means to translate a poetry book for children? Do not miss our interesting interview with Super Guppy’s translator David Colmer (read here)!
A poem from Super Guppy by Edward van de Vendel (The Emma Press).
For sources and further information:http://istrosbooks.com./http://rockinghampress.co.uk/http://smokestack-books.co.uk/https://theemmapress.com/https://www.lesfugitives.com/http://www.nordiskbooks.com/http://www.strangers.press/