In Translation: June Fiction and Poetry
It’s summertime here in ‘Murica, so if you’re headed to the beach, be sure to bring these fantastic books from Iran, France, Cuba, and Israel with you. Also if you’re headed to the pool. Or the park. Or the cafe. Or really anywhere. Enjoy!
Proustiennes edited & abridged by Jean Frémon, translated by Brian Evenson (Fence Books, 80 pages, June 21)
Here Frémon distills some of Marcel Proust’s most beautiful prose into “Proustiennes,” inviting us to delve (back) into the extraordinary À la recherche du temps perdu and belle époque Paris.
Rituals of Restlessness by Yaghoub Yadali, translated by Sara Khalili (Phoneme Media, 192 pages, June 7)
Iranian author and essayist Yaghoub Yadali brings us a novel of disillusionment and deceit, in which an engineer seeks to escape from his boring job and disintegrating marriage. And while Rituals won the 2004 Golshiri Foundation Award for the best novel of the year and was named one of the ten best novels of the decade by the Press Critics Award in Iran, Yadali was sentenced to one year in prison for depicting an adulterous affair.
The Extra by A. B. Yehoshua, translated by Stuart Schoffman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 256 pages, June 7)
In The Extra we find Noga, a divorcée and harpist living in the Netherlands. Her father’s death brings her back to Jerusalem and a host of memories and relationships she thought that she had left behind for good.
Super Extra Grande by Yoss, translated by David Frye (Restless Books, 160 pages, June 7)
I’ve been a Yoss fan since last year when Restless Books brought out A Planet for Rent. Super Extra Grande, too, showcases Yoss’s deft sardonic humor and rollicking imagination. I mean, who else could write about a veterinarian who examines massive alien creatures…from the inside? I’ve written more of m’thoughts on this short but hilarious novel here, and here‘s an interview with Yoss, too, just because I like you.