New in Translation: February 2015

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According to the Visual Guide to Translated Fiction there are 41 new works being published in February. If you want to check out the full list go here, and then click on February. I can’t possibly talk about all 41 in one sitting, but as always I’ll spend a bit of time below taking a closer look at the titles that I’m most looking forward to getting lost in over the next 28 days.

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Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza

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Clap Your Hands

It’s odd talking about happiness as if it’s somehow this attainable thing always just beyond our reach when the truth is, as soon as we finally realize that one burning desire that we’ve carried for so long, the moment of actual enjoyment is a fleeting one, and then another goal quickly rises to the surface to take it’s place. We’re forever chasing what we think will make us happy, but when that person, that thing, that job, that object of our endless yearning, finally becomes our ours?  We’re never quite satisfied by it, not completely.

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From Page to Screen: The 18 Stories that Inspired This Year’s Oscar Nominees

From Page to Screen

In the last few years, we’ve seen a steady increase of Oscar nominated films that are based on books. This year, a whopping 18 nominated films are book adaptations, but this trend should come as no surprise as the page-to-screen pattern has been a standard in the industry for decades. Below you’ll find our complete list (a numbered list even!) of all 18 of this year’s nominees that were inspired by the written word. Were you aware of the origins of each?

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Shirley by Susan Scarf Merrell

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Left or right’s no matter…just the fact of turning

As someone who’s mildly obsessed with the work of Shirley Jackson, I was a bit skeptical when I found out about this novel.  Told from the perspective of a house guest of Jackson and her husband Stanley Hyman, the novel takes place in 1964 and imagines what life might have been like inside the Hyman household.  But when I finished the first chapter, I suspected that this biographical novelization would be a sensitive and highly-charged delicacy for those who deeply savor Jackson’s literature.  And it is.

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