Category Archives: Translation

Reading in Translation

I like to ring the changes, by reading foreign novels, so I was delighted to chance upon a best-selling debut novel The Wolf and the Watchman in my local library. Written by Swedish author Niklas Natt och Dag whose surname means Night and Day, it’s sure to be filmed.

The Wolf and the Watchman

I was attracted by the cover design featuring a black wolf and an unusual hand-written font.

Some of my favourite crime writers are Scandinavian, including Swedes Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Åsa Larsson and Leif G. W. Persson, Norwegians Jo Nesbø and Karin Fossum, Finn Antti Tuomainen, Icelander Arnaldur Indriðason and Dane Jussi Adler-Olsson.

A crime writer I cherish is Andrea Camilleri, whose Inspector Montalbano series is set on his place of birth Sicily.

Other Italian crime writers I like are Antonio Manzini and Marco Vichi.

French authors Dominique Sylvain, Sophie Hénaff and Pierre Lemaître do a good job with the Gallic crime scene.

In the last few years, I’ve also read crime novels originally written in Japanese, which were peculiar as the social mores are so different. Kanae Minato, Seichō Matsumoto and Yōko Ogawa tales of murder in a society where saving face is of paramount importance wrong-foot the reader.

Away from Crime, I’ve enjoyed Dutch writer Peter de Smet’s two secret diaries of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old, Swede Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and Swede Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.

If you’re a grumpy old man you’ll recognise yourself in these stories (who, me?) :rolleyes:

I chose Norwegian Lars Mytting’s The Sixteen Trees Of The Somme as one of my favourite reads of 2017.

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s novels are long, challenging and strange.

Which books have you enjoyed in translation?