Lost in Translation

the god of small thingsLost in a good way!

I’m reading a book originally written in Swedish at the moment. A crime thriller entitled Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson. I’ve long been a fan of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series as well, long before the hit television series with Kenneth Branagh (although hats off to Branagh, he did a superb job in that series). I’ve read the Millenium series by Steig Larsson and a number of other Scandanavian novels, and am a particular fan of Peter Hoeg.

My other literary love is novels set in India. The God of Small Things has to be one of my all-time favorite books. Indian-set novels have a vivid colour and fragrant beauty to them that I think is unique, and I love to read them.

South American novels, as well, have a dark, steamy heart to them, and from Isabel Allende to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I absolutely love losing myself in the jungles and dusty cities described on the pages.

My Master of Arts degree is in Translation, and as a result, I’ve always been drawn to translated texts, and if I can, I like to read the original as well, although that is often not possible.

I find, even though the books are translated into English, they contain a different view of the world that is interesting and fresh, an insight into another culture, but rendered accessible because of the English translation.

I’d love to know how often do you read novels originally written in another language? And if you don’t often, is it because of lack of exposure, or because you aren’t interested or just never thought about it? And if you want to give it a try, I highly recommend it!

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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4 Responses to Lost in Translation

  1. Amy R says:

    Hi Michelle – My answer to your question would be never because of lack of exposure and I never even thought about it. It would be interesting. I am interested when I read books by authors from different countries because little pieces of them come through and give you an idea of their country. So, I guess it would be interesting to read books that are originally in written in another language.
    Amy R`s last blog was …Feature & Giveaways: THE ROAD TO YOU by Marilyn Brant

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Funny that this came up now. I’m editing a book for a multilingual German author, who is translating one of my books in return. It’s more difficult on both our sides than we’d expected, I think. We have a lot of questions for each other.

    I have read books that I know much have been translated, but not for a while, and nothing that sticks in my mind.

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