Explore in translation
My Enemy’s Cherry Tree
‘And the truth is, my heart was tied in knots, and pain bored into the marrow of my bones when I heard about his illness.’
The Pine Islands
‘Gilbert Silvester woke up distraught. Mathilda’s black hair lay spread out on the pillow next to him, tentacles of a malevolent pitch-black jellyfish.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace’.
‘Even in a year in which Brazilians are not that excited about the competition, once the ref whistles and the match kicks off, an entire nation is frozen, hypnotised before their television screens. It’s the great truce, the great anaesthetic.’
The Book Tree
‘I dreamed of dictionaries. I crammed myself with liquorice, honeymoons, caramels.’
Of Roses and Insects
‘The insects dissect the layers of my father’s life, our lives and my mother’s life that have collected in this sad house.’ Translated from the French by Neil Smith.
‘Waking is now worse than falling asleep, I didn’t think that was possible.’ Translated from the Norwegian by Becky L. Crook.
Dead in Venice
‘If I wasn’t a fish spawned in the Brenta river, why was I so compelled to keep returning?’ Masahiko Shimada on his many trips to Venice.
Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
‘They gazed at us calmly, as if we had caught them in the middle of performing some ritual whose meaning we could not fathom.’
Torn Silk and Garlands of Garlic
Teffi remembers the Armenian refugees in Novorossiisk during the Russian Revolution.
‘You didn’t know where you wanted to end up, had never considered how much time you had left.’
Filling Up With Sugar
‘The vagina was the first part of her mother’s body that turned to sugar.’
From the Past Comes the Storms
‘During the hottest months, the thermometer settles in at 100 degrees like a nonagenarian in a rocker – no one can make it move.’
Preserves for Life
‘He came upon one under the kitchen sink labelled ‘Shoestrings in vinegar, 2004’, and that should have alarmed him.’
‘My earliest memory of Peru is a newspaper photograph from 1980 of dead dogs hanging from lamp posts in downtown Lima.’
Returning to the Hague
‘‘Shall I tell you, son,’ I ask him, ‘exactly what I’m guilty of?’’