The best new literature in translation: stunning reissues and rediscovered writers

The Dry Heart; Notes on Childhood; Nostalgia; Blind Man; Sevastopol; The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Italian author Natalia Ginzburg (1916 - 1991), Turin, Italy, circa 1990. Photograph: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

Italian author Natalia Ginzburg (1916 - 1991), Turin, Italy, circa 1990. Photograph: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

This month’s translation column features stunning reissues and rediscovered writers from Italy, Argentina, and Romania, plus a satire from Slovenia, a multi-layered narrative from Brazil, and a dark comedy from Japan.

Natalia Ginzburg has undergone a much-deserved reassessment in recent years, largely due to the rerelease of much of her work by Daunt Books. The Italian writer and political activist, who died in 1991, was equally at home with fiction as with essay form. Her marvellously compact prose is beautifully showcased in the novella The Dry Heart (Daunt Books, 120pp, £8.99), first published in 1947 and translated into English in 1952 by Frances Frenaye. To read this newly reissued translation some 60 years after its initial publication is to encounter not a stuffy period piece but rather something fresh and clear.

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