3 Go-to Translations to Read in April
Trans. Michele Hutchinson
In Dutch writer Esther Gerritsen’s Craving, readers follow Coco, who moves in with her dying mother as a means to “prove her love” before the end of her mother’s life. Gerritsen’s dark humor follows Coco and a supporting cast of ex-husbands, ex-bosses, and ex-boyfriends as she works her way through life and through her relationship wither her mother. Gerritsen’s prose is rhythmic and poetic, but each word has a purpose in moving the narrative forward and appealing to the emotions of her readers.
Anton G. Leitner
Selected Poems, 1981–2015 (verse)
Trans. Paul-Henri Campbell, Anatoly Kudryavitsky & Yulia Kudryavitskya
In this recent verse collection, German writer and publisher Anton Leitner offers readers an insight into his view of the world. Leitner’s self-deprecating humor combined with rhythmic, flowing verse communicates his observations of the world to the reader. Irony and abstraction carry readers on unexpected journeys and make for an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience.
Birthday (creative nonfiction)
Trans. Chris Andrews
In Birthday, Argentine writer César Aira meditates on memory and identity as he ruminates on life on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday. Aira’s nonfiction also contemplates how little we as humans know or remember about our own lives. Readers of creative nonfiction and those new to the genre will find Aira’s prose refreshing even though it evokes a sense of melancholy as Aira works his way through memory, identity, literature, and writing.
University of Oklahoma