Translated fiction: A round-up of the best new books

Andreas-Salomé, Krasznahorkai, Scavenius, Manto, Sedira and Roig appear in English

László Krasznahorkai: his ability to convey the instability of existence and evoke the menace inherent in everyday life is without equal.

László Krasznahorkai: his ability to convey the instability of existence and evoke the menace inherent in everyday life is without equal.

Anneliese’s House, by Lou Andreas-Salomé (Camden House, 227pp, £80), was first published in 1921 but has only now been translated into English. Frank Beck and Raleigh Whitinger deserve praise both for rendering precise, intricate sentences from German into English, and for deciding that this novel deserves attention because of its “presciently modern portrayal of the family and social tensions born of the early stirrings of feminist sensibilities in a still-patriarchal age”.

The book is a detailed examination of the lives of a bourgeois family, comprising Anneliese, her doctor husband Branhardt and their adult children Gitta and Balduin as they each attempt to assert their wish to be independent while always aware of the tensions that could disrupt the family and the bonds, both caring and robust, which hold it together. The author’s incisiveness is especially impressive when the characters’ every action is analysed and questioned, always attentive to the implications and power balances that sway as emotions are weighed. 

The Irish Times
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