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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 Italian fiction. Our resident Fiction in Translation aficionado, Gary Perry, introduces the selection below.

Italian Fiction

With the recent UK publication of Natalia Ginzburg's Family Lexicon, in a sensational new translation by Jenny McPhee, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of my favourite Italian novels. To be read, of course, with biscotti and a cup of coffee to hand.

 

Family Lexicon book jacketFamily Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Jenny McPhee 

An exquisite tapestry of recollections, family anecdotes and phrases, Ginzburg's autobiographical novel brings to life the minutiae of family life and paints a compelling picture of Italy before, during and after the second world war. There are so many reasons to love this book and, if I were forced to rid myself of my entire library, salvaging only a select few books, this would be one of the titles I rescue.

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Hear Me? book jacketCan You Hear Me? by Elena Varvello, translated by Alex Valente

A writer to keep an eye on, Varvello is one of the most exciting names in contemporary Italian fiction. With this novel, she does something completely different with the thriller form, using it to probe that period of unease, common to adolescence, when we realise that our parents are fallible. It left me breathless, sweaty palmed and eager to see what Varvello does next.

The Communist book jacketThe Communist by Guido Morselli, translated by Frederika Randall

Morselli's moving account of a disappointed life draws upon the tension between ideals and their implementation, between a political party's base and its parliamentarians. The novel's protagonists, Walter and Nuccia, are unforgettable, their complex relationship beautifully realised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beautiful Summer book jacketThe Beautiful Summer by Cesare Pavese

It’s one of fiction’s most frequent topics but few novels have captured the awakening of sexuality with as much skill and poetry as Pavese’s masterpiece. Over the course of one Italian summer, and against a backdrop of changing sexual mores, a teenager becomes aware of both her own body and those of others. Pervaded throughout by a heady atmosphere of desire and excitement, jealousy and shame, The Beautiful Summer is timeless and more than deserving of its status as one of the greatest novels to come out of Italy.

Italian Fiction

See more See less
The Piranhas
(Hardback)
Roberto Saviano; Antony Shugaar
£14.99
Malacqua
(Paperback)
Nicola Pugliese; Shaun Whiteside
£10.00
The Days Of Abandonment
(Paperback)
Elena Ferrante
£9.99
Ernesto
(Paperback)
Umberto Saba; Mark Thompson
£10.00
The Experience of Pain
(Paperback)
Carlo Emilio Gadda
£12.99
The Art of Joy
(Paperback)
Goliarda Sapienza; Anne Milano Appel
£12.99
The Tartar Steppe
(Paperback)
Dino Buzzati; Tim Parks; Stuart C. Hood
£9.99
The Beautiful Summer
(Paperback)
Cesare Pavese
£7.99
Family Lexicon
(Paperback)
Natalia Ginzburg
£9.99
The Communist
(Paperback)
Elizabeth McKenzie; Frederika ...
£10.99
Can you hear me?
(Paperback)
Elena Varvello; Alex Valente
£8.99
The Piranhas
(Hardback)
Roberto Saviano; Antony Shugaar
£14.99
Malacqua
(Paperback)
Nicola Pugliese; Shaun Whiteside
£10.00
The Days Of Abandonment
(Paperback)
Elena Ferrante
£9.99
Ernesto
(Paperback)
Umberto Saba; Mark Thompson
£10.00
The Experience of Pain
(Paperback)
Carlo Emilio Gadda
£12.99
The Art of Joy
(Paperback)
Goliarda Sapienza; Anne Milano Appel
£12.99
The Tartar Steppe
(Paperback)
Dino Buzzati; Tim Parks; Stuart C. Hood
£9.99
The Beautiful Summer
(Paperback)
Cesare Pavese
£7.99
Family Lexicon
(Paperback)
Natalia Ginzburg
£9.99
The Communist
(Paperback)
Elizabeth McKenzie; Frederika ...
£10.99
Can you hear me?
(Paperback)
Elena Varvello; Alex Valente
£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
Death
(Paperback)
Anna Croissant-Rust; James J. Conway
£9.99
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
Go, Went, Gone
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck
£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
Death
(Paperback)
Anna Croissant-Rust; James J. Conway
£9.99
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
Go, Went, Gone
(Paperback)
Jenny Erpenbeck
£8.99

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

 

 

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