January 31, 2005

Literature Blegging

I might have mentioned in the past that a good friend of mine is a professional translator. She's one of those disgustingly clever trilingual people and has put those skills of hers to good use. While she's an online friend and I've never had the privilege and pleasure of meeting her in person (she lives in France), she's an astoundingly generous person. Simply because I asked, she enthusiastically translated more than a few bits and bobs from the manuscript into French. She's also answered many questions about French culture and society for me and is an all-around good egg. I love her to pieces and she's asked a favor, and while I would like to help her out, I find myself at something of a disadvantage.

To wit:

A friend who works with a French editor just called me, they are planning a new collection and he was told to find books by North American authors (recent enough to not have been translated yet, and not too famous). The general field is "man in politics and society, with family or sentimental background" and he was told to look for something along the lines of Philip Roth and Jonathan Franzen, with strong viewpoints and a good style.

Now, I generally don't read this sort of stuff. While I do like some literary fiction, more often than not I opt for the popular stuff. Anything that I might read along these lines will be well-known, hence disqualified.

So, I ask you, my devoted Cake Eater Readers, if you will please throw some suggestions out there that fit her friend's broad criteria. I don't think I have to point out to you that this is a great opportunity to help out an author whose work you loved, but whose achievements have been heretofore unrecognized. If you're a blogger and have written a post or two about this hypothetical author, attach links to those posts in your comments.

Both my friend and myself thank you in advance for any help you can give us.

Posted by Kathy at January 31, 2005 11:42 AM

Don't know if it's been translated into French yet, but Paul Hond's The Baker.

Paul is a friend of mine (and FLAMING LEFTIST, incidentally and unfortunately); his book was put out by Random House several years ago, and was recently re-issued in paperback. He has a new one coming out in April.

Posted by: Jeff G at January 31, 2005 12:10 PM

Has Jonathan Lethem got a translator?

Posted by: Otis Wildflower at February 3, 2005 12:25 PM

Super sekrit message to Pat: the titles of Jonathan Lethem's books are "Motherless Brooklyn", "Gun, with Occasional Music", and "Girl in Landscape"

Posted by: Kathy at February 3, 2005 01:06 PM
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