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Showing posts from August, 2016

Ananda Devi - Set in a poor section of Port-Louis, Mauritius, this prize-winning novel is a poetic and intense exploration of young lives thrown away by society. Told in four different voices and haunted by the specter of Rimbaud, Devi explores, the violence, identity, and dreams of young people living discarded lives

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Ananda Devi, Eve Out of Her Ruins,Trans. by Jeffrey Zuckermann, Deep Vellum, 2016.
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A harrowing account of the hidden violent reality of life in her native country by the figurehead of Mauritian literature.


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, 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…

Currently & Emotion: Translations - both a collection of striking original work and an insightful and provocative reflection on contemporary practices of translation

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Currently & Emotion: Translations, Sophie Collins, ed., Test Centre, 2016.

The anthology presents a varied and carefully curated selection of works which foreground the translator, and, by showcasing a broad range of approaches, seeks to challenge dominant perceptions of translation as an uncomplicated literary service that simply facilitates access to foreign and/or historical texts. Currently & Emotion is comprised of 29 extended excerpts from book- or pamphlet-length translation projects (rather than one-off translations of individual poems), either unpublished or published since 2010. The selection leans towards translations by and from female translators and authors, and towards work that shows awareness of, and that negotiates in interesting ways, the complex power dynamics inherent to every act of translation. Currently & Emotion is both a collection of striking original work and an insightful and provocative reflection on contemporary practices of translation. The an…

Eeva-Liisa Manner - Like a spruce cone, a child falls into a world where logical disorder replaces magical order, and there you are―in trouble, we’ll agree

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Eeva-Liisa Manner, Girl on Heaven’s Pier, Translated by Terhi Kuusisto, Dalkey Archive Press, 2016.

Originally published in 1951, this novel tells of a young girl living with her deeply religious grandparents in pre-war Vyborg―before it became part of the Soviet Union. Leena hates school, loves music and rain, and wanders through the town in a state of childish enchantment. “Like a spruce cone, a child falls into a world where logical disorder replaces magical order, and there you are―in trouble, we’ll agree.” The world she inhabits features multiple layers of reality, and this is reflected in the novel’s artful narrative: life and death are reflections of each other, and reality is merely a map of the individual’s inner world. Through the naive perspective of a young girl, the book addresses deep philosophical concerns in simple, lucid prose.




Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921–1995) is one of the most celebrated postwar Finnish poets. In addition to fifteen volumes of poetry, she published sever…