With the recent announcement of the Man Booker International Award shortlist for books in translation, I recalled some of my favorite books that had me grateful for the translator. Jhumpa Lahiri’s memoir In Other Words is an inspiration to learn to read (and write) in another language – but I’m not there yet.
My favorite translated author, Carlos Ruiz Zafón has led me through many satisfying quests from The Shadow of the Wind to Prisoner of Heaven. I looked for the cemetery of lost books when I toured Barcelona. A new adventure – Marina – the novel Carlos Ruiz Zafón wrote just before The Shadow of the Wind, is now available in its English translation – and I eagerly anticipate the thrills.
Haruki Murakami’s absurdist books can be difficult to follow at times, but the unresolved ending of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage still haunts me.
The Man Booker International Prize 2016 will be awarded in May. Their shortlist includes two I have on my to-read list:
- Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child (the last of the four book series by the elusive Italian author). I may start with My Brilliant Friend and proceed in a binge reading fury. If you have read them, advise me – do I need to read all four or can I skip to the award winner?
- Orhan Pamuk’s A Strangeness in Their Mind by the Turkish winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. I meant to read his Museum of Innocence – maybe I’ll start there. Have you read it?
- The Prisoner of Heaven
- The Prince of Mist
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
- Orhan Pamuk
- New York Times: In Other Words
I read Museum of Innocence several years ago . . . It was okay, not anything I was too excited about. But I also wasn’t a huge fan of Shadow of the Wind, and I know a lot of people really loved it.
Zafon has a unique style, and I am interested in discovering Pamuk.