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Best of the B-Sides

By Lori Feathers

In this series, critic and bookseller Lori Feathers recommends a new work in translation along with a number of backlist (“B-Side”) titles that you might have missed. The books selected might explore a similar theme, or include various titles from an author’s body of work. With this series we hope to draw readers to timeless works in translation.


Best of the B-Sides: Sensory Overload

Side A: The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda, tr. Alison Watts (Bitter Lemon Press, 2020)

Side B: Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye, tr. Jordan Stump (Two Lines Press, 2014); Perfume by Patrick Süskind, tr. John E. Woods (Vintage, 1986); Seeing Red by Lina Meruane, tr. Megan McDowell (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2016)


Best of the B-Sides: Destiny’s Child

Side ADrive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Riverhead Books, 2019)

Side B: Dominique Eddé’s Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé, tr. Ros Schwartz (Seagull Books, 2014); Bessarabian Stamps by Oleg Woolf, tr. Boris Dralyuk (Phoneme Media, 2015); Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman, tr. Robert Chandler (NYRB Classics, 2006)


Best of the B-Sides: Death by Fixation

Side A: The Embalmer by Anne-Renée Caillé, tr. Rhonda Mullins (Coach House Books, 2018)

Side BThe Young Bride by Alessandro Baricco, tr. Ann Goldstein (Europa Editions, 2016); The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy, tr. Louise and Aylmer Maude (Perennial, 2004); Death with Interruptions by José Saramago, tr. Margaret Jull Costa (Harcourt, 2008)


Best of the B-Sides: The Legacy of a Secret 

Side AIn Your Hands by Inês Pedrosa, tr. Andrea Rosenberg (AmazonCrossing, 2018)

Side BA Heart So White by Javier Marías, tr. Margaret Jull Costa (New Directions, 2002); Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante, tr. Ann Goldstein (Europa Editions, 2006); Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, tr. Jordan Stump (Knopf, 2016)


Best of the B-Sides: Finding the Essence 

Side AThe Impostor: A True Story by Javier Cercas, tr. Frank Wynne (Knopf, 2018)

Side BFive Photos of My Wife by Agnès Desarthe, tr. Adriana Hunter (Flamingo/HarperCollins, 2001); A Woman Loved by Andreï Makine, tr. Geoffrey Strachan (Graywolf Press, 2015); War & Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, tr. David McKay (Pantheon, 2016)


Best of the B-Sides: Keeping House 

Side A: All for Nothing by Walter Kempowski, tr. Anthea Bell (NYRB Classics, 2018)

Side B: The Maias by Eҫa de Queirós, tr. Margaret Jull Costa (New Directions, 2007); Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, tr. John E. Woods (Vintage, 1994); Chronicle of the Murdered House, tr. Margaret Jull Costa & Robin Patterson (Open Letter, 2016)


Best of the B-Sides: Identity in Translation 

Side A: Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto, tr. David Brookshaw (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018)

Side B: Shyness and Dignity by Dag Solstad, tr. Sverre Lyngstad (Harvill Secker, 2006); The Sleep of the Righteous by Wolfgang Hilbig, tr. Isabel Fargo Cole (Two Lines Press, 2015); My Marriage by Jakob Wasserman, tr. Michael Hofmann (New York Review Books, 2016); Silence by Shūsaku Endō, tr. William Johnston (Picador Classics, 2016)

Published Apr 11, 2018   Copyright 2018 Lori Feathers

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