Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Global Authors

Foreign literature, like foreign film, has a slightly different feel to it: the pace of the story, the cadence of the sentences, the perspectives and imagery are all slightly alien to American tastes. In fact, the mark of a good translator is that they can put the story into English without changing that exotic feel. We have a couple of new European novels on the shelf, as well as a couple from Ireland and Scotland (I'm not sure if they have the same foreign aura, or if we're just more accustomed to British and Irish writers). These aren't exactly feel-good fiction, but they are all very powerful stories.
The White King, by György Dragomán, is loosely based on his childhood in communist Romania. A coming-of-age story with an extra level of grimness.
A Perfect Waiter, by Alain Claude Sulzer, is a sad, lonely love story between two waiters at a Swiss hotel before World War II. Deception and betrayal drive them apart and alter their lives forever.
Civil & Strange is by Cláir Ní Aonghusa. Set in a small Irish town, it's a low-key love story that looks at the way tight-knit communities both reject and accept change.
The Night Following is by Morag Joss, and it is a disturbing story about the way guilt can fester at a person's soul and the way grief can cripple a body.

No comments: