Book Review: Out in the Open

Out in the Open by Jesus Carrasco

Out in the Open: A Novel by Jesús Carrasco, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (New York: Riverhead Books, 2015, originally published in 2013. 240 pp) Jesús Carrasco was born in Badajoz, Spain, and now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. He received the European Union Prize for Literature in 2016. Out in the Open, his debut novel, was a bestseller in Spain, has been published in twenty-five languages, and is the winner of many international awards, including an English PEN award. Margaret Jull Costa has been translating Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American fiction—including authors like Javier Marías—for more than twenty years. Every Story Needs Salt and Pepper The motifs sitting just underneath the surface of a story tell us how to feel…. Read More →

Book Review: In Other Words

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri; translated by Ann Goldstein (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. 256 pp) Born in London to Bengali immigrants, Jhumpa Lahiri moved to the United States at the young age of 3. Her first published work, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. In 2007, Hollywood adapted The Namesake into a feature film.  A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Lahiri is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. She has translated works by, among others, Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Primo Levi, Giacomo Leopardi, and Allesandro Baricco, and is the editor of The Complete Works of Primo Levi in English…. Read More →

Book Review: Arabian Nights & Days

Arabian Nights and Days by Naguib Mahfouz

Arabian Nights & Days: A Novel by Naguib Mahfouz; translated by Denys Johnson-Davies (New York: Anchor Books, 1995; originally published in 1982. 240 pp) Naguib Mahfouz was an author of Arabic fiction. He was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. A student of philosophy, he was influenced by many Western writers including Flaubert, Balzac, Zola, Camus, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Proust. He has more than thirty novels to his credit and in 1988, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 2006. Denys Johnson-Davies studied Arabic at the School of Oriental Studies, London University, and later at Cambridge. He has been described as “the leading Arabic-English translator of our time,” and has… Read More →

Book Review: Youth Without God

Youth Without God by Ödön von Horváth, translated by R. Wills Thomas (Brooklyn: Melville House Publishing, 2012; originally published in 1939. 224 pp) Ödön von Horváth was a playwright and novelist born to an Austro-Hungarian diplomat. He studied at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and spent most of his career in Germany. When the Nazis came to power, Horváth moved to Vienna. He died in 1938 when a falling tree branch struck him. R. Wills Thomas’ (1908-1955) translations from French and German include Ödön von Horváth’s A Child of Our Time. Time Travel One of my favorite aspects of reading is the way it scoops you up and envelopes you in a new culture, setting, or era. I’m a white… Read More →