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Fiction in Translation

Fiction in Translation

Here at Foyles we're big fans of translated literature—and there's never been a better time to discover the world of international writing. Critical and commercial attention has never been higher, with a focus not just on the author and book, but the art of the translator too. And in an increasingly connected world, we all benefit from reading other lives, other worlds—well, suffice to say it's a big part of our modus operandi, our raison d’être.

 

This month we're focusing on German fiction. Our resident Fiction in Translation aficionado, Gary Perry, introduces the selection below.

German Fiction

The recent appearance in English of Jenny Erpenbeck's Go, Went, Gone and Roland Schimmelpfennig's One Clear, Ice-Cold January Morning at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century drew attention to the fact German writers are in the vanguard when it comes to addressing the issues facing us today. Unsurprising for a literature that's never been afraid to confront the present moment and push forward the boundaries of fiction. These are a few of our favourites.

 

Go, Went, Gone book jacketGo, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky 

Novelists are only just beginning to analyse the refugee crisis and Go, Went, Gone is, in my view, one of the most impressive novels on the subject to date. By dramatising the growing relationship between a retired professor from the former East Germany and a group of refugees in Berlin, Erpenbeck gives voice to the marginalised, the uprooted and the displaced. Underpinned by the idea that is upon our treatment of refugees, their ability to survive and thrive in contemporary Europe, that we will be able to judge whether the fascism of the early twentieth century has been truly defeated, Go, Went, Gone is an empathetic, provocative and absolutely essential read. 

 

River book jacketRiver by Esther Kinsky, translated by Iain Galbraith

Like the River Lea that courses through it, Esther Kinsky's novel meanders gently, allowing both fragments of memory and the detritus of human experience to float to the surface. Incomers to London often provide the most illuminating accounts of the city and Kinsky is no different. Her London, primarily a city of migrants and outsiders, is lovingly rendered and will be recognisable to many readers.

Insane book jacketInsane by Rainald Goetz, translated by Adrian Nathan West

The 1983 publication of Insane sent shockwaves through the German literary scene, not least of all when the author sliced his forehead open during a televised reading. Theatrics aside, Goetz is the real deal.

An unlikely fusion of punk and psychiatry, Insane tears apart conventions and takes sledgehammer to complacency. It's provocative, overwhelming, disturbing and yet shot through with empathy. If innovative fiction is your thing, Goetz is the writer for you.

 

 

 

Berlin Alexanderplatz book jacketBerlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, translated by Michael Hofmann

Now available in a new translation from Michael Hofmann, Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of the most lauded, and controversial, works of German fiction. A sprawling collage, drawn from the slang of the Berlin streets, from street advertising and cabaret songs, Berlin Alexanderplatz is the ultimate Berlin novel and, in my opinion, the most successful attempt to capture a city in prose. 

German Fiction

See more See less
Death
(Paperback)
Anna Croissant-Rust; James J. Conway
£9.99
The End of Days
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck; Susan Bernofsky
£8.99
The Mussel Feast
(Paperback)
Birgit Vanderbeke; Jamie Bulloch
£10.00
Bricks and Mortar
(Paperback)
Clemens Meyer; Katy Derbyshire
£14.99
One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at...
(Paperback)
Roland Schimmelpfennig; Jamie Bulloch
£12.99
Berlin Alexanderplatz
(Paperback)
Alfred Doblin
£14.99
Insane
(Paperback)
Rainald Goetz; Adrian Nathan West
£12.99
Go, Went, Gone
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck
£8.99
Death
(Paperback)
Anna Croissant-Rust; James J. Conway
£9.99
The End of Days
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck; Susan Bernofsky
£8.99
The Mussel Feast
(Paperback)
Birgit Vanderbeke; Jamie Bulloch
£10.00
Bricks and Mortar
(Paperback)
Clemens Meyer; Katy Derbyshire
£14.99
One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at...
(Paperback)
Roland Schimmelpfennig; Jamie Bulloch
£12.99
Berlin Alexanderplatz
(Paperback)
Alfred Doblin
£14.99
Insane
(Paperback)
Rainald Goetz; Adrian Nathan West
£12.99
Go, Went, Gone
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck
£8.99

Japanese Fiction

See more See less
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short...
(Hardback)
Jay Rubin; Haruki Murakami
£25.00
Men Without Women: Stories
(Paperback)
Haruki Murakami; Philip Gabriel; Ted...
£8.99
Record of a Night Too Brief
(Paperback)
Hiromi Kawakami; Lucy North
£7.99
A Cat, A Man, And Two Women
(Paperback)
Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
£9.99
The Housekeeper and the Professor
(Paperback)
Yoko Ogawa; Stephen Snyder
£8.99
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
(Paperback)
Hiro Arikawa; Philip Gabriel
£8.99
Convenience Store Woman
(Paperback)
Sayaka Murata; Ginny Tapley Takemori
£12.99
Kitchen
(Paperback)
Banana Yoshimoto
£7.99
The Last Children of Tokyo
(Paperback)
Yoko Tawada; Margaret Mitsutani
£9.99
Territory of Light
(Paperback)
Yuko Tsushima
£9.99
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short...
(Hardback)
Jay Rubin; Haruki Murakami
£25.00
Men Without Women: Stories
(Paperback)
Haruki Murakami; Philip Gabriel; Ted...
£8.99
Record of a Night Too Brief
(Paperback)
Hiromi Kawakami; Lucy North
£7.99
A Cat, A Man, And Two Women
(Paperback)
Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
£9.99
The Housekeeper and the Professor
(Paperback)
Yoko Ogawa; Stephen Snyder
£8.99
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
(Paperback)
Hiro Arikawa; Philip Gabriel
£8.99
Convenience Store Woman
(Paperback)
Sayaka Murata; Ginny Tapley Takemori
£12.99
Kitchen
(Paperback)
Banana Yoshimoto
£7.99
The Last Children of Tokyo
(Paperback)
Yoko Tawada; Margaret Mitsutani
£9.99
Territory of Light
(Paperback)
Yuko Tsushima
£9.99

Recommended Fiction in Translation

See more See less
The Iliac Crest
(Paperback)
Cristina Rivera-Garza; Sarah Booker
£8.99
The Beautiful Summer
(Paperback)
Cesare Pavese
£7.99
Insane
(Paperback)
Rainald Goetz; Adrian Nathan West
£12.99
For Two Thousand Years
(Paperback)
Mihail Sebastian
£9.99
The House with the Stained-Glass Window
(Paperback)
Zanna Sloniowska; Antonia Lloyd Jones
£12.99
The Guest Cat
(Paperback)
Takashi Hiraide; Eric Selland
£7.99
Kingdom Cons
(Paperback)
Yuri Herrera; Lisa Dillman
£8.99
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
(Paperback)
Yoko Tawada; Susan Bernofsky
£8.99
Swallowing Mercury
(Paperback)
Wioletta Greg; Eliza Marciniak; Eliza...
£8.99
Die, My Love
(Paperback)
Ariana Harwicz; Sarah Moses; Carolina...
£9.99
Eve Out of Her Ruins
(Paperback)
Ananda Devi; Cecile Menon; Angeline...
£9.99
The End of Days
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck; Susan Bernofsky
£8.99
My Brilliant Friend
(Paperback)
Elena Ferrante
£12.99
The Nakano Thrift Shop
(Paperback)
Hiromi Kawakami; Allison Markin Powell
£7.99
Strange Weather in Tokyo
(Paperback)
Hiromi Kawakami; Allison Markin Powell
£7.99
The Vegetarian: A Novel
(Paperback)
Han Kang; Deborah Smith
£8.99
Seiobo There Below
(Paperback)
Laszlo Krasznahorkai; Ottilie Mulzet
£8.99
The End of Eddy
(Paperback)
Edouard Louis; Michael Lucey
£8.99
Fever Dream: SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN...
(Paperback)
Samanta Schweblin; Megan McDowell
£7.99
Flights
(Paperback)
Olga Tokarczuk; Jennifer Croft
£12.99
Death in Spring
(Paperback)
Merce Rodoreda
£8.99
The Ice Palace
(Paperback)
Tarjei Vesaas; Elizabeth Rokkan
£7.99
Estoril
(Hardback)
Dejan Tiago-Stankovic; Christina...
£12.99
Abandon
(Paperback)
Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay
£8.99
Banthology: Seven Stories from Seven...
(Paperback)
Rania Mamoun; Wajdi Al-Anoud; Najwa...
£9.99
Black Moses: Longlisted for the...
(Paperback)
Alain Mabanckou; Helen Stevenson
£8.99
The Three-Body Problem
(Paperback)
Cixin Liu; Ken Liu
£8.99
The Iliac Crest
(Paperback)
Cristina Rivera-Garza; Sarah Booker
£8.99
The Beautiful Summer
(Paperback)
Cesare Pavese
£7.99
Insane
(Paperback)
Rainald Goetz; Adrian Nathan West
£12.99
For Two Thousand Years
(Paperback)
Mihail Sebastian
£9.99
The House with the Stained-Glass Window
(Paperback)
Zanna Sloniowska; Antonia Lloyd Jones
£12.99
The Guest Cat
(Paperback)
Takashi Hiraide; Eric Selland
£7.99
Kingdom Cons
(Paperback)
Yuri Herrera; Lisa Dillman
£8.99
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
(Paperback)
Yoko Tawada; Susan Bernofsky
£8.99
Swallowing Mercury
(Paperback)
Wioletta Greg; Eliza Marciniak; Eliza...
£8.99
Die, My Love
(Paperback)
Ariana Harwicz; Sarah Moses; Carolina...
£9.99
Eve Out of Her Ruins
(Paperback)
Ananda Devi; Cecile Menon; Angeline...
£9.99
The End of Days
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck; Susan Bernofsky
£8.99
My Brilliant Friend
(Paperback)
Elena Ferrante
£12.99
The Nakano Thrift Shop
(Paperback)
Hiromi Kawakami; Allison Markin Powell
£7.99
Strange Weather in Tokyo
(Paperback)
Hiromi Kawakami; Allison Markin Powell
£7.99
The Vegetarian: A Novel
(Paperback)
Han Kang; Deborah Smith
£8.99
Seiobo There Below
(Paperback)
Laszlo Krasznahorkai; Ottilie Mulzet
£8.99
The End of Eddy
(Paperback)
Edouard Louis; Michael Lucey
£8.99
Fever Dream: SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN...
(Paperback)
Samanta Schweblin; Megan McDowell
£7.99
Flights
(Paperback)
Olga Tokarczuk; Jennifer Croft
£12.99
Death in Spring
(Paperback)
Merce Rodoreda
£8.99
The Ice Palace
(Paperback)
Tarjei Vesaas; Elizabeth Rokkan
£7.99
Estoril
(Hardback)
Dejan Tiago-Stankovic; Christina...
£12.99
Abandon
(Paperback)
Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay
£8.99
Banthology: Seven Stories from Seven...
(Paperback)
Rania Mamoun; Wajdi Al-Anoud; Najwa...
£9.99
Black Moses: Longlisted for the...
(Paperback)
Alain Mabanckou; Helen Stevenson
£8.99
The Three-Body Problem
(Paperback)
Cixin Liu; Ken Liu
£8.99

Check out the selection at our Charing Cross Road flagship for even more hand-picked translated fiction

 

 

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