5 Phenomenal European Books in Translation
by a contributor
from Jason Newport, author of Because the Brick:
These five books offer a brief but fascinating introduction to some of the finest European works in translation of the past two years.
- Trieste (2014) by Dasa Drndic
Although comparisons to Sebald may be exaggerated, Drndic memorably blurs the line between terrifying historical fact and haunting fiction in Trieste.
- Seiobo There Below (2013) by László Krasznahorkai
Winner of the Best Translated Book Award for 2014, Seiobo There Below offers a breathtaking contemplation of the human experience of art across the world and through the millennia.
- Karate Chop (2014) by Dorthe Nors
Short, good fiction.
- Europe in Sepia (2014) by Dubravka Ugresic
The fierce, brilliant critic of Karaoke Culture returns with a vengeance in Europe in Sepia, a painfully funny exposé of the nostalgic West in decline and its increasingly endangered species of conscientious authors.
- City of Angels, or the Overcoat of Dr. Freud (2013) by Christa Wolf
In City of Angels, Wolf’s posthumous autobiographical novel, one of Europe’s great Late Modernists explores what it means to be a writer whose national identity is defunct and whose personal memory turns out to be suspect.
Other great recent translations of European books to look for include works by Javier Marías (The Infatuations, 2013), W. G. Sebald (A Place in the Country, 2013), and Enrique Vila‑Matas (Dublinesque, 2012).
Jason Newport is currently at work on a novel about Hungarian Roma in the Holocaust.