Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: Looking for foreign authors

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Looking for foreign authors
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
Back To Top

For some reason I have really gotten in to reading books that were originally writen in another language by a foreign author. I just finished A Shadow of the Wind by a Spanish author and Hannah's Daughters by a Swedish author. I loved them both. The first one had a few places where the translation didn't quite work, but it was still great. Any recommendations for more authors/books?

Subject: Like Japanese?
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
Back To Top

I recently gotten into Haruki Murakami, a Japanese author, having read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and South of the Border, West of the Sun. They both take place in Japan, and the former involves fantastical realities. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I liked them, and judging from the long WL for these two titles, some people share my opinion. I hope this helps.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
Back To Top

Orhan Pamuk is from Turkey.  He is not a favorite of mine, but I know a lot of people who love him.

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
Back To Top

I would say Khaleid Housseni(sp?) He wrote The Kite Runner and A thousand Spendid Suns and also I would recommend Paul Cehlo. (sp?)

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
Back To Top

Jackie,

I have read all of Housseni's books and they are great. I will try Paul Cehlo.

Jennie,

I will look up Pamuk

Sophie,

I will try one of the books from your japanese author. Thanks all!

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,717
Back To Top

It's Paulo Coelho. He is South American and his books are what is termed "magical realism." They are very good.

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Boris Akunin.  He's a Russian Mystery writer.  I love his Erast Fandorin series.  I haven't read any of the Sister Pelagio series yet. 

Isabelle Allende.  I want to say she's from Peru but I might be mistaken.  I've enjoyed several of her books.

Subject: Foreign authors.
Date Posted: 4/12/2009 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,476
Back To Top
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,476
Back To Top

A long time ago, an author named Ivo Andric won a Nobel Prize mostly for one book, The Bridge Over The Drina. It is probably hard to find, but is quite a book. The bridge, interestingly, was at Visegrad in Bosnia.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is quite well-known now. He wasn't when he wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude. This book, easy to find, is a totally unique reading experience. It got him a Nobel Prize, too.

And there are two books by Italians I would recommend unequivocally to anyone who reads.

     Pane E Vino (Bread and Wine)  : can't recall the author. Loaned the book and it didn't come back. Most outstanding.

     Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi. (not the holocaust surrvivor Primo Levi who recently committed suicide, though i would also most highly recommend The Monkey's Wrench (La Chiave a Stelle) by Primo Levi.

wildhog3

Subject: pano e vino
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2007
Posts: 18
Back To Top

i found this info on the book

 

We begin with Ignazio Silone's Pano e Vino (Bread and Wine) first published in the US in 1937. Bread and Wine tells the story of a young Italian communist (Pietro Spina) in the 1930's who is forced to hideout in a small country village. Part of his disguise is to pose at the parish priest. Being a good communist he despises religion (and the rites and practices associated) as the "opiate of the masses." However, Spina (who grew up in a religious school, yet became disenchanted with faith) comes to a unique understanding of the people and the Bread and the Wine of community. Spina begins to share with these villagers the basic nourishment of Bread and Wine (that to the believer nourishes both body and soul at the communion table). Slowly, through this shared liturgy Spina's worldview evolves. He finds himself viewing the villagers whom he once made general assumptions about, in a different light. I invite you to read the book to see how it turns out and the journey Spina, Don Benedetto and Cristina take to get there.

hope this helps

teri

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson.  I had this on my WL and found the audio CDS cheap at a UBS. I haven't listened to it yet but the reviews I've read on his books are good. The author is Swedish. He's also dead but wrote 2 other novels.

Date Posted: 4/27/2009 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2009
Posts: 30
Back To Top

Re Arturo Perez-Reverte-- He's been writing a series of historical swashbuccklers about a swordmaster that I really like because I'm fond of the historical swashbuckler genre.  I've read every single musketeer book by Alexandre Dumas.

If you're interested in the history of India and Pakistan, I just read a book called Cracking India by Bhapsi Sidwa about the partition of India from the perspective of a child living through the events.  It's also about her family.  The characterization is wonderful.

Shomeret

Subject: Foreign Authors
Date Posted: 4/27/2009 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top
J.E. Coetzee - Disgrace, Nobel Prize Winner, South Africa Bryce Courtenay - The Power of One, also South Africa Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits, Daughter of Fortune, Chile Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance, Family Matters, Canadian but writes about India All highly recommended, very readable books!
Date Posted: 4/28/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2009
Posts: 33
Back To Top

A third plug for Arturo Perez-Reverte - especially Flanders Panel and Seville Communion.  Absolutely fantastic, and similar in style to Shadow of the Wind, so you should love them too.   

Mary - I almost jumped out of my chair with excitement (to the slight surprise of my office mates) when I saw your mention of Akunin!  I had no idea that anybody in the U.S. read him!  I didn't even know that he was translated into English!  My father brings back all of his latest works whenever he goes to Russia for business, and I absolutely love him!!! 

Subject: Foreign author
Date Posted: 5/1/2009 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2009
Posts: 4
Back To Top

I just finished DADDY by Loup Durand.  It's translated from French.  Couldn't put it down!

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2009
Posts: 6
Back To Top

If you have not read any 19th century Russian literature, you should check it out.  There are some real treasures there.  Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
Back To Top

I have a Japanese book called the River Ki on my shelf.  I enjoyed it very much.  Another one by a Japanese author is the Sound of Waves.  Both well written.  A little different style than I am used to.

Subject: foreign books in translation
Date Posted: 5/10/2009 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2009
Posts: 1
Back To Top

This is my special interest...I even belong to a book club for International Literature in Translation.  I love the writer Anders Bodelson (Think of a Number, Freezing Down), also a super Norwegian writer named Vesaas, who wrote The Ice Palace and The Birds and The Bridges, among others (he is also a poet) and then there are soooo many popular Indian writers these days, including Anita Desai, Rohinton Mistry, & tons of others.  I also have recently discovered Mo Yan, a Chinese writer--I enjoyed his The Garlic Ballads and then went and bought a whole bunch of others by him. 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 349
Back To Top

I like Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series set in Sicily.   They are translated by Stephen Sartarelli.  This series was adapted for Italian television and translated in to 9 languages. 

They compare favorably with Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series set in Venice and Barbara Nadel's Inspector Ikmen series set in Istanbul. All wonderful characters in fascinating settings.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I love Boris Akunin.

1:   I've only read a few of the Erast Fandorin books.

2:  But I plan on reading the Sister Pelagio books some day. 

His books translate very well into English-that's 3:

(Ok not the best Fandorin immitation)

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
Back To Top

Swedish writer Henning Mankell wrote Faceless Killers.  This is the first title in a great series of mysteries - police procedural.   PBS member Steve M is one of the translators for this author.  He also does other foreign translations. 

Date Posted: 5/18/2009 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
Back To Top

Wow, some grea recommendations. Keep them coming. I have put a lot of these on my reminder list since my wish list is currently full and most of these are not available. Can't wait to start in on them.

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
Back To Top
You might try Angeles Mastretta, from Mexico. If you start with Women with Big Eyes, which is short linked stories, you can see whether you like her style. I really liked the Martin Beck mysteries by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, starting with Roseanna; they're set in Sweden.
Date Posted: 5/31/2009 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2009
Posts: 640
Back To Top

There are a series of the best books ever written by a Russian.  They have just resently been translated into English.  The series is "ANASTADIA.  I have the set and have decided to KEEP them.  They are too good to let go.  The author of this series had never written before.  His name is Vladimir Megre'.  AWESOME BOOKS.  Hope you can find them.

Dawne

Page: