ananda devi, april 2017 books, enrique vila-matas, eve out of her ruins, ganesh matkari, half open windows, indian independent publishers, jeffrey zuckerman translations, jerry pinto translations, margaret jull costa translator, new books, speaking tiger books, translated books, vampire in love
I recently discovered Speaking Tiger , an Indian independent publisher, when I asked for suggestions of books to read on my twitter. The Sari of Surya Vilas was amongst those recommended and I suddenly found myself clicking order and gleefully requesting a marketing list from them. In that list, there were a few amazing sounding translated books that stood out! So, I thought I’d share them with you in the hopes that you find them as intriguing as I do.
An acclaimed contemporary Marathi novel, Half-Open Windows (Khidkya Ardhya Ughadya) is a striking portrait of India’s urban upper middle class on an obsessive quest for riches and prestige. Set in the enticing yet treacherous city of Mumbai, it closely follows the lives of people connected to SNA Architects, an up-and-coming firm, basking in the glory of their recent success—a high-rise in the premium area of Colaba.
As events unfold, we encounter the corrupt and ruthless Niranjan, founder of SNA, and his associate, Nita, who think bribery is a small price to pay to get to the top; another founder of SNA, the honest but naïve Sanika, and Shushrut, an aspiring writer who is no longer content to play her stay-at-home partner; an NGO worker, Swarupa, torn between her loyalty to an old friend and her duty as a whistle-blower; a lonely widow, Joshi Kaku, who wonders if moving to the US to live with her son and his family—with whom she can forge no connections—is a wise idea; and Ramakant, a young student of architecture, who is contemplating suicide in a desperate bid for attention.
Even as this diverse cast of characters chases happiness and success, Mumbai emerges as the central character—the driving force behind their aspirations and dreams, and their ethical compromises.
2. VAMPIRE IN LOVE (STORIES) – Enrique Vila-Matas (Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa)
Enrique Vila-Matas is widely hailed by his peers and readers as one of the greatest writers of fiction in contemporary Spanish literature. Gathered for the first time in English, and spanning the author’s entire career, Vampire in Love offers a selection of Vila Matas’s finest short stories.
A father summons his son to his deathbed to tell him that he arranged for his wife’s death. An effeminate, hunchbacked barber—known to everyone as Nosferatu—decides to see, one last time, the choirboy he has fallen in love with. A fledgling writer on amphetamines visits the French writer Marguerite Duras’s Paris apartment and watches his dinner companion slip into the abyss. An unsuspecting man receives a mysterious phone call from a lonely ophthalmologist, visits his abandoned villa, and is privy to a secret. And a writer on vacation decides—as a way of paying tribute to the pioneering composer Erik Satie—to reply to nineteen emails without reading them.
The stories in Vampire in Love, brilliantly translated by renowned translator Margaret Jull Costa, are all told with Vila-Matas’s signature erudition and wit and his provocative, relentless questioning of the interrelation of art and life.
3. EVE OUT OF HER RUINS – Ananda Devi (Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman)
With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country’s endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only weapon and source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend, the only one who loves Eve without self-interest, and who has plans to leave but will not go alone; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in love with Eve; Clélio, belligerent rebel, waiting without hope for his brother to send for him from France.
Eve Out of Her Ruins is a heartbreaking look at the dark corners of the island nation of Mauritius that tourists never see, and a poignant exploration of the construction of personhood at the margins of society. Awarded the prestigious Prix des cinq continents upon publication as the best book written in French outside of France, Eve Out of Her Ruins is a harrowing account of the violent reality of life in her native country by the figurehead of Mauritian literature.
These are all releasing in April, 2017. So I suggest getting on their mailing list so you know when it’s available. There are other AMAZING books as well, like The Sun And The Two Seas, The Haunted Doll’s House (Which I really need to get), The Sand Libraries Of Timbuktu (poetry!!!) and One Thousand Days In A Refrigerator (which is also a translation). They offer free shipping directly from their website within India and their service is really quick! (I recently ordered The Sari Of Surya Vilas and it reached me in two days!)