New in Translation: August 2016

Compiled by Carrina LaCorata and Maggie Zebracka

The Angels Die by Yasmina KhadraThe Angels Die
Translated from French to English by Howard Curtis
Published on: August 2, 2016

As a child living in a ghetto, Turambo dreamt of a better future. When his family find a home in the city anything seems possible. Through a succession of menial jobs, the constants for Turambo are rage at the injustice surrounding him, and a reliable left hook. A boxing apprenticeship offers Turambo a choice.
– Gallic Books

Yasmina Khadra is the pen name of the Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul. He is the author of more than 20 novels, including The Swallows of Kabul and The Attack, both shortlisted for the IMPAC literary award. Khadra’s work has been published in 45 countries. He has twice been honoured by the Académie française, winning both the Médaille de vermeil (2001) and Grand Prix de littérature (2012). The New York Times describes Khadra as ‘a writer who can understand man wherever he is’.

Howard Curtis is a British translator of French, Italian and Spanish fiction. He won the 2013 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation for his translation from Italian of In the Sea There are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda.


Brussels NoirBrussels Noir by Various
Translated from French to English by Various
Published on: August 2, 2016

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Barbara Abel, Ayerdhal, Paul Colize, Jean-Luc Cornette, Patrick Delperdange, Sara Doke, Kenan Görgu¨n, Edgar Kosma, Katia Lanero Zamora, Nadine Monfils, Alfredo Noriega, Bob Van Laerhoven, and Émilie de Béco.

From the introduction by Michel Dufranne:

“For our grand tour, please be seated, ladies and gentlemen readers, in Tram 33…and no, there’s no rain in the forecast today, just a leaden sky; for that matter, considering the timetables of the STIB, it’s probably better to go on foot than to take public transport. We’ll explore the city center, that pentagonal surface defined by urban highways and a canal, home to the real old Brussels, the historic core. We’ll take a dainty stroll through an edifice that achieves the feat of being more vast and monolithic in style than St. Peter’s Basilica: the Palais de Justice. From there, it’s easy to glide down to the Marolles; then let your feet carry you from kabberdouch to stamcafé, as you wander in an ethereal, even surrealist mode through the heart of the city, and finally come full circle.

Having whetted our appetites, we’ll play leapfrog along the boulevards to make our way to the inner ring road and tiptoe across the razor’s edge of the city…And if the life of the abattoir hasn’t sated you, you’ll have plenty of room to maneuver as you stray from the center and discover the oh-so-serene neighborhoods of the greater ring, home to our venerable European institutions above all suspicion.”
– Akashic Books


Compartment No. 6: A Novel by Rosa LiksomCompartment No. 6
Translated from Finnish to English by Lola Rogers
Published on: August 2, 2016

In the waning years of the Soviet Union, a sad young Finnish woman boards a train in Moscow. Bound for Mongolia, she’s trying to put as much space as possible between her and a broken relationship. Wanting to be alone, she chooses an empty compartment–No. 6.–but her solitude is soon shattered by the arrival of a fellow passenger: Vadim Nikolayevich Ivanov, a grizzled, opinionated, foul-mouthed former soldier. Vadim fills the compartment with his long and colorful stories, recounting in lurid detail his sexual conquests and violent fights.

There is a hint of menace in the air, but initially the woman is not so much scared of or shocked by him as she is repulsed. She stands up to him, throwing a boot at his head. But though Vadim may be crude, he isn’t cruel, and he shares with her the sausage and black bread and tea he’s brought for the journey, coaxing the girl out of her silent gloom. As their train cuts slowly across thousands of miles of a wintry Russia, where “everything is in motion, snow, water, air, trees, clouds, wind, cities, villages, people and thoughts,” a grudging kind of companionship grows between the two inhabitants of compartment No. 6. When they finally arrive in Ulan Bator, a series of starlit and sinister encounters bring Rosa Liksom’s incantatory Compartment No. 6 to its powerful conclusion.
– Graywolf

Rosa Liksom was born in a village of eight houses in Lapland, Finland, where her parents were reindeer breeders and farmers. She spent her youth traveling Europe, living as a squatter and in communes. She paints, makes films, and writes in Helsinki.

Lola Rogers is a Finnish to English literary translator living in Seattle. She studied linguistics and Finnish language and literature at the University of Washington, followed by training as a translation intern at FILI Finnish Literature Exchange in Helsinki. She has translated seven novels to date and contributed translations of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to a variety of journals and anthologies. Her published translations include True by Riikka Pulkkinen, which was an IMPAC Dublin Prize nominee and a Shelf Unbound best book of 2012, and the internationally acclaimed novel Purge, by Sofi Oksanen, chosen as a best book of 2010 by the California Literary Review, the Sunday Times, the L Magazine, and others. Lola is a founding member of the Finnish-English Literary Translation Cooperative.


DarknessDarkness for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone by Maurizio De Giovanni
Translated from to Italian English by Antony Shugaar
Published on: August 2, 2016

A kidnapped child and the burglary of a high-class apartment: two crimes that seem to have no connection at all until Inspector Lojacono, known as “The Chinaman,” starts to investigate.

De Giovanni is one of the most dexterous and successful writers of crime fiction currently working in Europe. His award-winning and bestselling novels, all set in Naples, offer a brilliant vision of the criminal underworld and the police that battle it in Europa’s most fabled, atmospheric, dangerous, and lustful city.

The Bastards of Pizzofalcone is a new series set in contemporary Naples that draws inspiration from Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels and features a large cast of complicated cops doing battle with ruthless criminals.
– Europa Editions

Maurizio de Giovanni‘s Commissario Ricciardi books are bestsellers across Europe, having sold well over 1 million copies. De Giovanni is also the author of the contemporary Neapolitan thriller, The Crocodile (Europa, 2013) and the new contemporary Neapolitan series, The Bastards of Pizzofalcone. He lives in Naples with his family.

Antony Shugaar is a prolific translator, with new novels by Silvia Avallone, Gianrico Carofiglio, Diego De Silva, Giorgio Faletti, Gianni Rodari, and Paolo Sorrentino in 2011. The recipient of a 2007 NEA translation fellowship, he is also the author of I Lie for a Living and Coast to Coast, and the coauthor of Latitude Zero: Tales of the Equator. His essay “Darkness at the Heart of Recent Italian Literature” appeared in the July 2011 issue of WLT.


The Family Interrupted by Eloy UrrozThe Family Interrupted
Translated from Spanish to English by Ezra Fitz
Published on: August 26, 2016

When the poet Luis Cernuda flees Spain in February of 1938, he has no idea that he will never again set foot on his native land. In exile in England, his former lover finds him a disheartening job that only intensifies his feelings of bitterness and despair: caring for 3,800 refugee children who have also fled to England after the city of Bilbao fell to Franco’s army. Seventy years later, a young Mexican filmmaker living in New York receives a mysterious email that throws his life into complete disarray and forever links him to the famous Spanish poet. The Family Interrupted (the title of Cernuda’s only play, which had gone missing for fifty years until Octavio Paz found it in a shoe box in his mother’s house) is, as Jorge Volpi once said, “A beautiful example of two decanting narratives constructed with the precision and accuracy of a watchmaker. From the opening lines, the characters’ destiny seems―almost―preordained.”
– Dalkey Archive

Eloy Urroz is the author of The Obstacles, Friction, and The Novelist’s Wife, forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press, along with several other volumes of poetry and literary criticism. He was one of the authors of the “Crack Manifesto,” a statement by five Mexican writers dedicated to breaking with the pervading Latin American literary tradition. Born in New York in 1967, Urroz is currently a professor at The Citadel in South Carolina, where he teaches 20th century Latin American Literature, 20th century Spanish Poetry, and Creative Writing.

Ezra E. Fitz’s translations of contemporary Latin American literature by Alberto Fuguet and Eloy Urroz have been praised by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Believer, among other publications. His own novel, The Morning Side of the Hill, was published in 2014 by 2 Leaf Press.


Gesell DomeGesell Dome by Guillermo Saccomanno
Translated from Spanish to English by Andrea Labinger
Published on: August 9, 2016

Like “True Detective” through the lenses of William Faulkner and John Dos Passos, Gesell Dome is a mosaic of misery, a page-turner that will keep you enthralled right until its shocking end.

Opening with reports of a child abuse scandal at an elementary school, then weaving its way through dozens of sordid storylines and characters—including various murders, corrupt politicians and real-estate moguls, and the Nazi past of the city—Gesell Dome chronicles the dark underbelly of a popular resort town tensely awaiting the return of the tourist season.

Two-time winner of the Dashiell Hammett Prize, Guillermo Saccomanno is Argentina’s foremost noir writer, crafting incisive, unflinching books that reveal the inequities of contemporary life.
– Open Letter

Guillermo Saccomanno is the author of numerous novels and story collections, including El buen dolor, winner of the Premio Nacional de Literatura, and 77 and Gesell Dome, both of which won the Dashiell Hammett Prize. He also received Seix Barral’s Premio Biblioteca Breve de Novela for El oficinista and the Rodolfo Walsh Prize for nonfiction for Un maestro.

Andrea G. Labinger is the translator of more than a dozen works from the Spanish, including books by Ana María Shua, Liliana Heker, Luisa Valenzuela, and Alicia Steimberg, among others.


Girl on Heaven’s Pier by Eeva-Liisa MannerGirl on Heaven's Pier
Translated from Finnish to English by Terhi Kuusisto
Published on: August 26, 2016

Originally published in 1951, this novel tells of a young girl living with her deeply religious grandparents in pre-war Vyborg―before it became part of the Soviet Union. Leena hates school, loves music and rain, and wanders through the town in a state of childish enchantment. “Like a spruce cone, a child falls into a world where logical disorder replaces magical order, and there you are―in trouble, we’ll agree.” The world she inhabits features multiple layers of reality, and this is reflected in the novel’s artful narrative: life and death are reflections of each other, and reality is merely a map of the individual’s inner world. Through the naive perspective of a young girl, the book addresses deep philosophical concerns in simple, lucid prose.
– Dalkey Archive

Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921–1995) is one of the most celebrated postwar Finnish poets. In addition to fifteen volumes of poetry, she published several volumes of prose and wrote plays for radio and the theater. Her collection Tämä matka (This Journey, 1956) is considered a landmark work of Finnish modernism. She was also a translator of English and German literature. Manner received numerous national prizes and awards for her work, including the Aleksis Kivi Prize (1967) and the Finnish State Award for Literature (1961).

Terhi Kuusisto is a translator of Finnish literature.


I'll Sell You a DogI’ll Sell You a Dog by Juan Pablo Villalobos
Translated from Spanish to English by Rosalind Harvey
Published on: August 9, 2016

Long before he was the taco seller whose ‘Gringo Dog’ recipe made him famous throughout Mexico City, our hero was an aspiring artist: an artist, that is, till his would-be girlfriend was stolen by Diego Rivera, and his dreams snuffed out by his hypochondriac mother. Now our hero is resident in a retirement home, where fending off boredom is far more grueling than making tacos. Plagued by the literary salon that bumps about his building’s lobby and haunted by the self-pitying ghost of a neglected artist, Villalobos’s old man can’t help but misbehave: he antagonises his neighbors, tortures American missionaries with passages from Adorno, and flirts with the revolutionary greengrocer. A delicious take-down of pretensions to cultural posterity, I’ll Sell You a Dog is a comic novel whose absurd inventions, scurrilous antics and oddball characters are vintage Villalobos.
– And Other Stories

Juan Pablo Villalobos was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1973. He’s the author of Down the Rabbit Hole (2011) and Quesadillas (2013), both published by And Other Stories. His novels have been translated into fifteen languages. He writes for several publications including Letras Libres, Gatopardo, Granta and the English Pen blog, and translates Brazilian literature into Spanish. He lived in Barcelona for several years, then moved to Brazil, and is now back in Spain. He is married with two Mexican-Brazilian-Italian-Catalan children.

Rosalind Harvey was born in Bristol in 1982. Her translation of Juan Pablo Villalobos’s novel Down the Rabbit Hole was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize. She runs regular translation-related public events in the UK and is a founding member and chair of the Emerging Translators Network, an advice and support network for early-career literary translators.


Me Against the World by Kazufumi ShiraishiMe Against the World
Translated from Japanese to English by Raj Mahtani
Published on: August 26, 2016

A jaded journalist inherits an abandoned manuscript penned by an old acquaintance who has recently passed away. The writing―a collection of ruminations on the nature of existence by a fifty-three-year old businessman who, as far as the journalist remembers, was a kind and gentle soul―is nothing short of shocking. In it, this apparent everyman―whom we know only as Mr. K―writes that he has a son, daughter, and wife, but has no love for them. He claims that humans are like cancer cells, destroying Mother Earth with their unrestrained propagation. He looks at our mortal destiny with an unflinching honesty and turns to psychic mediums for clues to the afterlife, wondering what immortality―if it were possible―would mean for our spiritual well-being. Me Against the World takes the reader down the rabbit hole of the raging mind of this man, who only rejects the world in order to save it from itself.
– Dalkey Archive

Born in 1958, Kazufumi Shiraishi is a prolific, award-winning novelist who debuted in 2000 to great critical acclaim with Isshun no hikari (A Ray of Light). His novel Boku no naka no kowareteinai bubun (The Part of Me That Isn’t Broken Inside), published in 2002, became a national best-seller and is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press. The winner of two major Japanese literary awards (the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize and the Naoki Prize), he currently lives in Tokyo with his wife.

Born in 1965, Raj Mahtani is a freelance translator based in Yokohama, Japan. His published translations include Fujisan by Randy Taguchi and I Hear Them Cry by Shiho Kishimoto, both released by AmazonCrossing.


The Street KidsThe Street Kids by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Translated from Italian to English by Ann Goldstein
Published on: August 30, 2016

The Street Kids is the most important novel by Italy’s preeminent late-20th Century author and intellectual, Pier Paolo Pasolini. A powerful, groundbreaking contemporary classic, The Street Kids is now available in a new translation by Ann Goldstein, translator of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels.

Pasolini’s The Street Kids was heavily censored, criticized by professional critics, and lambasted by much of the general public upon its publication. But like many innovative works of art its undeniable force eventually led to it being universally acknowledged as a masterpiece. It is a moving tribute to an entire class of people in danger of being forgotten by art, by institutions, and by society at large.

The Street Kids tells the story of Riccetto, a poor urchin who lives on the outskirts of Rome. Readers meet him at his first communion in 1944 during the German occupation of Italy. In the years that follow, drifting ever further from family and friends, Riccetto moves from petty theft to more elaborate cons and finally to prostitution. He is arrested and jailed after trying to steal some iron in order to buy his fiancée an engagement ring.

Pasolini’s message of rebellion and transgression is as important today as it was in the 1960s and 1970s.
– Europa Editions

Pier Paolo Pasolini was born in 1922. He was an Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual. Throughout his life he exhibited extraordinary cultural versatility and became a highly controversial figure in the process. While his work remains controversial, since his death in 1975, Pasolini has come to be seen as a visionary thinker and a major figure in Italian literature and art. American literary critic Harold Bloom considered Pasolini to be a major 20th-century poet and included his works in his collection of the Western Canon.

Ann Goldstein is an American editor, and translator from the Italian language. She is best known for her translations of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet.


Two by Aleshkovsky by Yuz Aleshkovsky
Translated from Russian to English by Terry Myers
TwoPublished on: August 26, 2016

This volume collects two novellas by the legendary nonconformist Russian writer Yuz Aleshkovsky. Profoundly witty and obscene, these works are absurdist satires that illustrate the humiliation and debasement inflicted on subjects of totalitarian systems. Nikolai Nikolaievich is a merciless sendup of the Soviet Union’s shambolic program of pseudoscientific experimentation: the novella’s title character is employed by the state as a daily sperm donor, providing raw material for scientists, while he only dreams of making a simple living as a cobbler. In Camouflage, the daily Soviet reality of food shortages, muddy roads, and alcoholism is presented as a theatrical cover to fool Western spies, concealing the real truth of Soviet society―a truth that is even more disturbing.
– Dalkey Archive

Yuz Aleshkovsky was born in 1929 and grew up in Moscow. After serving in the Soviet Navy and being imprisoned for insubordination, he began writing children’s books and composing folk songs. His writing was deemed subversive and was censored by the state, and Aleshkovsky emigrated to the West in 1979. His books include Kangaroo and The Hand, both available in English translation. He now lives in Middlefield, Connecticut, where he has been Visiting Russian Émigré Writer at Wesleyan University. He was awarded the Pushkin Prize in 2001.

Terry Myers is an editor with a great fondness for Russian literature, especially the works of Vladimir Nabokov. He is proud of his close association with the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg, on behalf of which he donated several rare Nabokov first editions as well as established the nonprofit Friends of the Nabokov Museum. To amuse himself, he collaborates on translations of contemporary Russian writers into English. Most recently he helped edit Evgeny Pavlov’s exceptional translation of Arkady Dragomoschenko’s Chinese Sun.


Carrina LaCorata has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South CarolIMG_1665ina with a major French and a minor in Theater and a Master’s degree from New York University in Literary Translation: French to English. She is currently working on building her career as a freelance translator (and hopes that literary translation will be a part of that). Carrina is excited to be an intern with ALTA and learn more about the literary translation world.

Maggie Zebracka is a graduate of Wellesley College and Vanderbilt University. Originally zebrackafrom southeastern Poland, she currently lives and writes in West Texas.


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