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).
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, 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, translated by Arunava Sinha (Tilted Axis Press).
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.