Fiction in Translation

Peter Craven reviews 'The Discreet Hero' by Mario Vargas Llosa translated by Edith Grossman

Peter Craven
28 May 2015

Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the marvels of contemporary fiction. The Peruvian Nobel Prize winner not only bestrides it like a colossus, he is also a law unto himself. It is as if he takes the legacy of a realism that is only in his hands magical (because of the enchantment he creates from it) as a kind of blank cheque with which he can license any expense of narrat ... More

Mridula Nath Chakraborty reviews 'The Walls of Delhi' by Uday Prakash, translated by Jason Grunebaum

Mridula Nath Chakraborty
28 August 2012

Continuously inhabited since at least the sixth century, Delhi is fabled to be the city that was built seven times and razed to the ground seven times. Some believe the word Delhi comes from dehali or threshold, and the city is seen as the gateway to the Great Indian Gangetic plains. In 1912 the British moved their colonial seat of power from Calcutta to New Delhi, which also became th ... More

Anna Heyward reviews 'HHhH' by Laurent Binet

Anna Heyward
28 August 2012

What we need from history is a sense of narrative. The masses of statistics, dates, artefacts, and voices are nonsensical without it. Laurent Binet’s HHhH, winner of the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman and the 2011 Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche, is a loving tribute to the Czech resistance, and to all who resisted the Nazification of Europe in the first few terrifying years ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews '1Q84' by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel

Alison Broinowski
27 February 2012

Admirers of Haruki Murakami who waited for two years while successive parts of his twelfth novel sold millions in Japanese, are now rewarded for their patience with a big nugget of a book in English, which is already an international bestseller. The elegant cover shows an enigmatic night sky with two moons, which reappear on the endpapers and between the three parts. Rather than clutter one sin ... More

Christine Nicholls reviews 'Mamang' by Kim Scott, Iris Woods, and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project and 'Noongar Mambara Bakitj' by Kim Scott, Lomas Roberts and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project

Christine Nicholls
20 January 2012

Mamang and Noongar Mambara Bakitj are retellings of traditional Noongar narratives by the Miles Franklin Award-winning author Kim Scott, in collaboration with a team of others. The books are part of a broader Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories reclamation and revitalisation project currently under way in the south-western coastal region of Western Australia, an area roughly ... More

Barry Hill reviews 'Kokoro' by Natsume Soseki, translated by Meredith McKinney

Barry Hill
27 September 2011

Australia is supposed to have a knowing relationship with East Asia, but the embarrassing truth we keep under wraps is that you can count on one hand the number of first-class translators we have produced. There are no doubt complex cultural reasons for this, but it is hard to escape the impression that many academics teaching Chinese and Japanese have not been earning their keep.

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