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OUR TRANSLATED BOOK OF THE MONTH: POETRY OF THE HOLOCAUST. A NEW ANTHOLOGY FROM ARC PUBLICATIONS

Posted on August 06, 2019 by Cristina Peligra | 0 comments

Our Translated Book of the Month in August is the new poetry in translation project from Arc Publications: Poetry of the Holocaust, edited and introduced by Jean Boase-Beier and Marian de Vooght, funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign

This unique, multilingual poetry anthology explores Holocaust poetry from an innovative angle, aiming to be more comprehensive than previous volumes on the topic, from both a historical and a linguistic point of view.

The poems selected were written in different periods and also from different perspectives. These poems, divided into three sections, explore the beginning of the Holocaust, life in ghettos, camps, prisons and the outside world and life afterwards, focusing on the extreme horrors of the Holocaust and the personal and historical traumas caused by it. Not only poems written by members of the Jewish communities across Europe are included, but also poems by those who were targeted on other grounds, for example because of their disabilities, sexuality, religion or political views.

Furthermore, the collection includes poems translated from a variety of languages, for example Polish, German, Dutch, Yiddish and Hebrew, French and Italian, but also Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Greek, Estonian, Ladino, etc., and even Japanese. All source text poems are included.

Arising from the AHRC-funded project ‘Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust, as explained in the anthology’s introduction, this publication wants to - quoting the editors - "give voice to victims we may not have heard of" and "to show that there is more to Holocaust poetry than we suspected" (Jean Boase-Beier & Marian de Vooght). It is also an extensive study on this type of poetry and on its translation.

 

If you’re looking for more poetry in translation this month, Arc Publications are also publishing the following collections: The Unknown Neruda, poems by Pablo Neruda never before published in English, edited and translated by Neruda’s biographer Adam Feinstein; To the Outermost Stars by Norwegian poet and playwright Stein Mehren, translated by Agnes Langeland; The Iron Flute: War Poetry from Ancient & Medieval China, a collection of work by 50 Chinese war poets spanning across sixteen centuries, edited by Kevin Maynard.

 

For sources and more information:
http://translatingcultures.org.uk/awards/fellowship-awards/translating-the-poetry-of-the-holocaust/
https://www.arcpublications.co.uk/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/545039739/poetry-of-the-holocaust

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THE TRANSLATOR’S (INTER)VIEW: ARUNAVA SINHA ON THE YOGINI

Posted on August 01, 2019 by Cristina Peligra | 0 comments

If you haven’t already, check out our Translated Book of the Month in July: The Yogini by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, translated from Bengali by prize-winning Arunava Sinha (Tilted Axis Press). The gripping story of a modern, middle-class woman from Kolkata obsessed with the idea of fate, questioning the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

Today, Arunava Sinha, who has also translated Bandyopadhyay’s previous novels Panty and Abandon for Tilted Axis Press, answers our questions on this prominent figure in feminist literature , this must-read and his experience of translating it.


 
The translator Arunava Sinha. 


 What is The Yogini about? What does Bandyopadhyay want to tell us and how? Read about all this and more from the translator’s perspective. 

How would you describe The Yogini? What is it really about?
This novel, like most of Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay's works, is located in a unique space somewhere between the objective everyday world and a landscape, with all the appearances of reality, inside the main character's head. If there's a theme, it's the question of whether an individual – specifically, a woman – can defy fate even while she's convinced her life is controlled by it. But that is too reductionist a way of looking at the novel.

What is ‘The Yogini’?
I'm not sure, and I think the reader needs to draw their own conclusion. But it would be best not to relate the title to any specific religion or religious practice.
 
What would you say are the main features of Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay’s writing and how does The Yogini fit within her work, from your perspective?
Sangeeta's writing is, to borrow the title of a novel by another author, a 'fever dream'. It is driven by an energy bordering on the manic, and is yet extremely controlled in its choice of words, phrases and sentence structure. All her novels explore central questions of existence facing an individual woman, and The Yogini works along the same lines. However, each of her novels has a distinct form and plays with a unique situation and experience, and to that extent every novel is different from the rest.
 
What was your journey to becoming a translator, and, in particular, how have you become the translator of Bandyopadhyay’s Panty, Abandon and The Yogini?
I no longer remember how or why I started translating. Initially it was for my own pleasure, but once my work began to be published, I started reading extensively for books to translate. That was how I came across Bandyopadhyay's works. At that time – some six or seven years ago – there weren't many people translating from Bengali into English, and those that were looked mostly at classics rather than modern or contemporary writing. So I got the job easily enough.
 
What is your experience of translating Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay’s novels?
I'll quote (roughly) my own tweet here: it is like being in the middle of an extended hallucination.
 
How has your relationship with the author evolved in these years and how has this influenced you as a translator?
I have always had conversations with Sangeeta about her work. Not about individual details in the text, but about where she's coming from as a writer. Like many good writers, she keeps her author self and personal selfs distinct, so it's not just a matter of understanding her as a person, but more a case of understanding her writing impulses. I use this understanding, such as it is, to gauge the outcome of my translations of her works, rather than letting it affect the process.
 
Did you have any linguistic and/or cultural difficulties while translating The Yogini?
Not really. The Yogini is, arguably, the most direct and, to that extent, easiest to translate, of the four novels of her that I've translated.
 
Do you have a favourite line or passage from The Yogini?
This passage is one:

She had often poked her fingers into the pirate’s eyes, asking, ‘How do you get so horny in your sleep?’
Hoisting her on top of himself, the pirate had replied, 
‘It’s an automatic machine, not some cosmic consciousness or revolution.’

Who would you particularly recommend this book to and why?
I'd recommend this to anyone who is convinced their lives are in the hands of powers outside of themselves, powers with a purpose, that is. Not for validation, but for a challenge to that assumption, so that the reader is forced to confront the question and arrive at a solution.  

 
We thank the translator Arunava Sinha and Tilted Axis Press for their contribution to this blog.


 
More about the translator:
Arunava Sinha is the translator of Panty, Abandon and The Yogini. He has translated over fifty books from Bengali. Winner of the Crossword translation award, for both Sankar’s Chowringhee and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen, and of the Muse India translation award for Buddhadeva Bose’s When The Time Is Right, his translation of Chowringhee was also shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. His translation for Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay's The Yogini has won an English PEN award. He was born and grew up in Kolkata, and lives and writes in New Delhi.

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INPRESS TRANSLATED BOOKS IN JULY

Posted on July 29, 2019 by Cristina Peligra | 0 comments

This month, we present four powerful and fascinating novels in translation that will call your beliefs into question. What must a woman do to free herself? How does one decide what to believe? What are the boundaries between reality, hallucination, freedom and free will, duties and loyalties?
 
If you are intrigued and want to find out more, read this post until the end and put A Girl Called Eel by Ali Zamir, The Wind That Lays Waste by Selva Almada, Wild Woman by Marina Šur Puhlovski and The Yogini by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay on your reading list.
 

 

A Girl Called Eel by Ali Zamir (Jacaranda Books). Front cover.


A Girl Called Eel by Ali Zamir, translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins (Jacaranda Books) 

A translation of huge global cultural importance: a novel from the Comoros. 
Winner of the Prix Senghor 2016 and of the English PEN Award
A French Institute Book of the Week

 

A moving story of self-determination. In the Comoro Islands, a curious 17-year-old girl named Anguille wishes to discover the world beyond the understanding of her despotic father All-Knowing. She realises what she must do to liberate herself.


Anguille leaves her island. While drifting at sea, confronted with imminent death, she tells the story of her life in one long, continued breath and last sentence.

 

The Wind That Lays Waste by Selva Almada (Charco Press). Front cover. 


The Wind That Lays Waste by Selva Almada, translated by Chris Andrews (Charco Press). 

The first book by this powerful voice in Argentinian literature and
influential feminist intellectual

 

Reverend Pearson is evangelizing across the Argentinian countryside with his teenage daughter, when their car breaks down, leading them to the workshop and home of an aging mechanic and his young assistant. As tensions between the characters ebb and flow while a long day goes by, beliefs are questioned and allegiances are tested.

 

Wild Woman by Marina Šur Puhlovski (Istros Books). Front cover.

Wild Woman by Marina Šur Puhlovski, translated by Christina Pribichevich-Zoric (Istros Books). 


An anti-love story set in 1970s Croatia against a background of economic hardship
 

After rushing into the romantic dream of marriage, a woman from a poor family background soon finds herself in a nightmare. The idyll is destroyed after she finds herself victim of a lazy, deceitful man. She realises she must go wild and liberate herself from the “prisons” imposed on her by her family, community and tradition to free herself from him.

 

The Yogini by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay (Tilted Axis Press). Front cover. 

 

The Yogini by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, translated by Arunava Sinha (Tilted Axis Press). 

 
A hallucinatory and explosively sensual new novel from the author of Panty and Abandon
Winner of the English PEN Award
Our selected Translated Book of the Month in July!

 

Homi is a modern, middle-class woman living in Kolkata. She has a stable marriage and a fast-paced job in a TV studio. But, one day, she meets a yogi in the street and her life is disrupted by this appearance. Being convinced this is a sign of fate, Homi becomes desperate to prove that her life is ruled by her own free will.


 
For sources and further information:
https://charcopress.com/
http://istrosbooks.com/
https://jacaranda-boooks.myshopify.com/
https://www.tiltedaxispress.com/

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OUR TRANSLATED BOOK OF THE MONTH: THE YOGINI BY SANGEETA BANDYOPADHYAY, TRANSLATED BY ARUNAVA SINHA (TILTED AXIS PRESS)

Posted on July 18, 2019 by Cristina Peligra | 0 comments
This July, our Translated Book of the Month is the next captivating novel from pioneering Tilted Axis Press: The Yogini, by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, translated from Bengali by award-winning Arunava Sinha, ready to be published on 25th July – and to simply fascinate you.

 

“I know it’s ultimately fate that drives us, and nothing else. You can do what you like, but really, you’re nothing more than a fish caught in a net.” – From The Yogini 

How would you react to such a statement? Do you believe your life is ruled by fate? And nothing else? 

After overhearing and then joining a discussion on fate between two colleagues in her workplace, the busy studio of a 24-7 TV channel, Homi asks herself these same questions. What does she believe in? Then days go by and her modern life in Kolkata moves on. She is a strong, young woman, with a fast-paced job and a very passionate husband, called Lalit. But, one day, everything changes, as she becomes slowly obsessed with the idea of fate and its force. On the eve of her first wedding anniversary, a bizarre, frightening figure, appears to her: a hermit only she can see, with matted locks and a beard, a blanket around his shoulder. He is calling her, whispering to her, strangely arousing her. Homi’s life is inevitably disrupted, haunted by what she is convinced is a manifestation of her own fate, which she goes on to fight with all her strength to prove her free will. How will her battle end? 

The Yogini by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay (Tilted Axis Press). Front cover. 

After publishing Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay’s previous novels Panty and Abandon, Tilted Axis Press bring back this talented writer and her new thrilling, sensational novel. Here is the newest work from a writer who has positioned herself as a central and ground-breaking figure in the literary exploration of the themes of identity and female sexuality. Many thanks to Tilted Axis Press for bringing us the best and most innovative world literature which would otherwise not make it into English, like the incredible Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri, translated by Morgan Giles, our Translated Book of the Month in March!

 

Take advantage of Tilted Axis Press' offer to celebrate this new publication and get two or all three books by Bandyopadhyay for 30% off! Read more here!

 

 

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OUR TRANSLATED BOOKS IN JUNE

Posted on June 28, 2019 by Cristina Peligra | 0 comments

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/

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