Translated books round-up: Dazzling debuts, auto-fiction and more
Reviews: The Faces, Ordesa, Slash and Burn, God 99, Night As It Falls, Kokoschka’s Doll
Hassan Blasim’s debut novel is called God 99.
In the depths of grey winter, the latest fiction in translation provides a vivid streak of colour. Global voices, some translated into English for the first time – in this month’s round-up chosen from writers originating from as far apart as Denmark, Iraq, Portugal, Salvador, Spain and France – show that even if our individual existences have shrunk to one town and one street, there is still much out in the world to savour and reflect upon.
The epic three-part auto-fiction Childhood, Youth, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (1917-1976), now published in one volume by Penguin Classics as The Copenhagen Trilogy, caused a sensation on its 2019 complete publication in translation (by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman) for its frank and often brutal trajectory of the life of a Danish woman who is also, by the final volume, a drug addict.