Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter
While not all of this month’s offerings are translations, there are
quite a few in this round’s mix, which makes JBCers particularly happy. We’re happy both because fine international titles are making their way into the American literary market, and also because they help reflect the broader Jewish experience and keep lines of communication open between Jews worldwide.
Along with the translations, several of the below selections explore the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction (see: God’s Horse
and The Atheist’s School
, The Messenger
, and The Wine of Solitude
). When do these forms need to work together to tell the whole story and when does one form suffice? It may also be of interest to look into newly reviewed HHhH
(Laurent Binet; Sam Taylor, trans.), which is both a translation and also explores the aforementioned boundaries. And, of course, who could resist the forthcoming UPNE
title focused on coffee (another thing that makes JBCers happy)? Needless to say, we’ve been spoiled by riches this month, and, as always, look forward to the next round of literary treats.
God’s Horse and The Atheists’ School, Wilhelm Dichter; Madeline G. Levine, trans. (March 2012, Northwestern University Press)
Dichter’s autobiographical novels bring to life the tensions between ideologues and pragmatists, Polish patriots and their Soviet masters.
Check out The New Yorker
s recent profile of Lanzmann here
Not surprisingly, Jews readily accepted coffee when it made its way to Europe in the 1650s.
The Messenger, Yannick Haenel; Mark Baker, trans. (May 2012, Counterpoint Press)
The novelized biography of Jan Karski, a young Polish diplomat charged with bringing the truth of Hitler’s extermination plan to the Allies.
The Innocents, Francesca Segal (June 2012, Voice)
Segal’s debut novel explores the world of a tight-knit Jewish suburb of London.
Since we have a bit of a wait for this one, check out JBC’s Irène Némirovsky review page here