The OF Blog: Best of 2014: Translated Fictions

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Best of 2014: Translated Fictions

I only read twelve 2014 releases that were translations from other languages.  Some of these were published prior to 2014 in the UK, but since I am an American citizen, I'll go by US release dates here.  It was tough choosing which books to list here, in part because out of the thirteen read, nine were selected for my overall Top 50.  So I'm going to make this a Top 10 list, including one book that almost made the cut for the Top 50 of 2014:

10.  Frankétienne, Ready to Burst (translated from Haitian by Kaiama L. Glover)

This story set during the days of Papa Doc Duvalier's dictatorship is a dark yet moving account.

9.  Hilda Hilst, With My Dog Eyes (translated from Brazilian Portuguese by Adam Morris) 

One of the wilder Modernist pieces I've read in any language.

8.  Jenny Erpenbeck, The End of Days (translated from German by Susan Bernofsky)

Five linked novellas that explore a chilling "what if" when it comes to a woman's life.

7.  Carlos Labbé, Navidad & Matanza (translated from Spanish by Will Vanderhyden)

Clever, labyrinthine tale that may or may not involve people caught up in a narrative game that may or may not involve the disappearance of two children.

6.  Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem (translated from Chinese by Ken Liu)

One of the best "first contact" stories I've read in quite some time.  Also involves a narrative of rebuilding/destroyed civilizations.  And much, much more.  Opener to a SF trilogy.

5.  Can Xue, The Last Lover (translated from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen)

One of the best experimental, surrealist fictions from one of my favorite short story writers.

4.  S.  Yizhar, Khirbet Khizeh (translated from Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck)

Finally released in translation in the US, this 1949 novella by one of Israel's founding fighters/politicians is one of the most harrowing and damning accounts of the eviction of the Palestinians following the 1948-1949 war that established the state of Israel.

3.  Daša Drndić, Trieste (translated from Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać)

One of the better WWII/Holocaust tales that I've read in recent years.

2.  David Grossman, Falling Out of Time (translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen)

In prose, poetry, and play genres, Grossman explores the loss of his son during one of the rocket attacks in northern Israel during the 2006 mini-conflict with Hezbollah.  Powerful, sad, and so much more.

1.  Johanna Sinisalo, The Blood of Angels (translated from Finnish by Lola Rogers) 

One of the best narratives of ecological collapse that I've read in quite some time.  Chilling in its plausibility.


No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites