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New Leaf Nominations for January 2019 • Lost in Translation: Other Tongues
#11  Catlady 12-01-2018, 04:38 PM
I'm nominating Every Man Dies Alone (alternate title: Alone in Berlin) by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann (1947, transl. 2009; 546 pp.).

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Based on a true story, this never-before-translated masterpiece was overlooked for years after its author—a bestselling writer before World War II who found himself in a Nazi insane asylum at war’s end—died just before it was published.

In a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis, it tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Third Reich, Otto and Anna Quangel launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.

In the end, Every Man Dies Alone is more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order—it’s a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what’s right, and for each other.

This edition includes an afterword detailing the gripping history of the book and its author, including excerpts from the Gestapo file on the real-life couple that inspired it.
Amazon U.S., $12.99
Amazon Canada, CA $9.88
Amazon UK, £4.99
Amazon Australia, AU $14.99

Kobo U.S., $12.99
Kobo Canada, CA $13.59
Kobo UK, £4.99
Kobo Australia, AU $14.99

Overdrive has the e-book and audiobook, RB Digital and Scribd have the audiobook.
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#12  issybird 12-01-2018, 04:44 PM
I guess a rodent's a rodent.
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#13  issybird 12-01-2018, 05:31 PM
I'll second Every Man Dies Alone which has been on my TBR for a while.
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#14  Bookpossum 12-01-2018, 05:57 PM
The Left Hand of Darkness is a great book and I second it.

I really like your take on the theme, gmw!
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#15  stuartjmz 12-01-2018, 07:37 PM
Since gmw has inspired many to go with books about translation, even if not actually translated themselves, I'm going to follow suit and recommend/rave about Embassytown - translation is literally what this book is all (or mostly) about
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#16  Dazrin 12-01-2018, 07:58 PM
Interesting selection, not where I thought this theme was going to go. I have recently read both of Charlie's nominations (one this year, one last) so I don't really want to second them although they are both good. I've also read the Left Hand of Darkness, many years ago, but may still second it. Depends on if I can find a good alternative for what I was going to nominate*.

Here's some more information for Embassytown, which I will second.

Embassytown by China Miéville
Goodreads | Amazon ($7.99)
Pages: 345 | Published: 2011
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In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.
Awards:
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Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (2012), Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2011), Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2012), Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominee for Best Novel (2012), British Science Fiction Association Award Nominee for Best Novel (2011), Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award (RT Award) for Best Science Fiction Novel (2011), John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel (2012), The Kitschies Nominee for Red Tentacle (Novel) (2011), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2011)
*For anyone who is interested:
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
The original 1960s translation was from French instead of directly from Polish which was a "very poor" translation in Lem's opinion. The book is still considered a science fiction masterpiece and is on many people's "best of" lists for science fiction. There have been 3 movie versions (2 English, 1 Russian). A new translation was made around 2011 that captures the original better. Unfortunately that translation, by Bill Johnston, only appears to be available from Amazon and Audible due to some rights issues. I was unable to find the new translation at Kobo or B&N but I rarely use them so maybe someone else would have better luck? If so, I would nominate this book.
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#17  gmw 12-01-2018, 08:38 PM
Quote issybird
So have I and I suspect most of us have. But theme-bending breaks no rules. [...]
Well, you see, I figured that simply picking books that are translations themselves is likely to bend the theme as stated.

That is: "lost in translation" would typically mean that the translation failed or was insufficient. So to meet the literal interpretation of the theme we would have to pick out poorly translated works - perhaps The Three Musketeers for example , or Journey to the Centre of the Earth where they couldn't even get the title right.

Of course, I imagine most people choosing translations will be bending the theme so that "lost" is interpreted in the sense of "lost in a good book".

I thought my nomination was the more literal interpretation of the theme.
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#18  gmw 12-01-2018, 08:52 PM
Quote Dazrin
[...]*For anyone who is interested:
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
The original 1960s translation was from French instead of directly from Polish which was a "very poor" translation. The book is still considered a science fiction masterpiece and is on many people's "best of" lists for science fiction. There have been 3 movie versions (2 English, 1 Russian). A new translation was made around 2011 that captures the original better. Unfortunately that translation, by Bill Johnston, only appears to be available from Amazon and Audible due to some rights issues. I was unable to find the new translation at Kobo or B&N but I rarely use them so maybe someone else would have better luck? If so, I would nominate this book.
Kobo AU doesn't even seem to have the old translation as ebook (only as audiobook). But Amazon AU has it, so at least I can get it if necessary. The book sounds vaguely familiar to me, but if I've read it it was a very long time ago.
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#19  issybird 12-02-2018, 03:39 PM
Quote gmw
Well, you see, I figured that simply picking books that are translations themselves is likely to bend the theme as stated.

That is: "lost in translation" would typically mean that the translation failed or was insufficient. So to meet the literal interpretation of the theme we would have to pick out poorly translated works - perhaps The Three Musketeers for example , or Journey to the Centre of the Earth where they couldn't even get the title right.
I'll quibble and say that even the best translation is an approximation; there's always some loss, some compromise. One of the peculiarities about translations is that they tend to age poorly while the original in its own language stays fresh.
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#20  Catlady 12-02-2018, 04:24 PM
A second nomination: The Time In Between (alternate title: The Seamstress) by Maria Duenas, translated by Daniel Hahn (2011, 626 pp).

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The inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious couturier and then into an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.

Between Youth and Adulthood…

At age twelve, Sira Quiroga sweeps the atelier floors where her single mother works as a seamstress. At fourteen, she quietly begins her own apprenticeship. By her early twenties she has learned the ropes of the business and is engaged to a modest government clerk. But everything changes when two charismatic men burst unexpectedly into her neatly mapped-out life: an attractive salesman and the father she never knew.

Between War and Peace…

With the Spanish Civil War brewing in Madrid, Sira leaves her mother and her fiancé, impetuously following her handsome lover to Morocco. However, she soon finds herself abandoned, penniless, and heartbroken in an exotic land. Among the odd collection of European expatriates trapped there by the worsening political situation back on the Continent, Sira reinvents herself by turning to the one skill that can save her: her gift for creating beautiful clothes.

Between Love and Duty…

As England, Germany, and the other great powers launch into the dire conflict of World War II, Sira is persuaded to return to Madrid, where she takes on a new identity to embark upon the most dangerous undertaking of her career. As the preeminent couturier for an eager clientele of Nazi officers’ wives, Sira becomes embroiled in the half-lit world of espionage and political conspiracy rife with love, intrigue, and betrayal.

An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the “Spanish Downton Abbey.” In the US it was a critical and commercial hit, and a New York Times bestseller in paperback. It is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. María Dueñas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller.

Amazon U.S.
, $13.99
Amazon Canada, CA $7.99
Amazon UK, £3.99
Amazon Australia, AU $12.99


Kobo U.S.
, $13.99
Kobo Canada, CA $12.99
Kobo UK, £3.99
Kobo Australia, AU $12.99

Also available as audiobook. Can be borrowed through Overdrive (e-book and audiobook), RB Digital (audiobook), and Scribd (e-book and audiobook).

Overdrive also has the e-book in the original Spanish.
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