The first #YAinTranslation book group chat took place on 1st September to discuss MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves. There were only a few of us taking part, but we had a good conversation about the book’s gothic style, its female characters and whether or not we’d actually consider it to be YA. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the book, too, so a good start!
The second chat will take place at the beginning of December, but first we need to decide on a second book to read! I’ve thrown 172 HOURS ON THE MOON into the mix again as it got quite a lot of votes last time, plus three others. Like last time, I’ve tried to choose a range of original languages, and also books that aren’t super expensive and that shouldn’t be too difficult to order from libraries.
(If you’d like to join in but have difficulty getting your hands on the chosen book, please let me know and I can try to help.)
ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST by Miyuke Miyabe (translated from the Japanese by Alexander O. Smith)
The Castle of the Mist calls for a sacrifice: a horned child, born once a generation. When, on a single night in his thirteenth year, Ico's horns grew long and curved, he knew his time had come. But why does the Castle of the Mist demnd this offering, andcan the castle keep Ico's destiny from intertwining with that of the girl imprisioned within his walls?
PIGLETTES by Clémentine Beauvais (translated from the French by the author)
Mireille, Astrid and Hakima have just been voted the three ugliest girls in school by their classmates on Facebook. But does that mean they're going to sit around crying about it? Well, maybe a little, but not for long! Climbing onto their bikes, the friends set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris. The girls will find fame, friendship and happiness on their journey, and still have time to eat a mountain of food (and drink the odd glass of wine) along the way. But will they really be able to leave all their troubles behind?
172 HOURS ON THE MOON by Johan Harstad (translated from the Norwegian by Tara F. Chace)
Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It's been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2.
RASHA by Muhammed Zafar Iqbal (translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha)
Fifteen-year-old Rasha is abandoned by her mother in a village with her aged and probably mad grandmother. Uprooted from her school and her friends back in cosmopolitan Dhaka, a disgruntled Rasha has to start life afresh in a faraway place with no electricity, incessant rains, nosy neighbours and a primitive school. But just as Rasha settles into her new life, new friends in tow, she is confronted by a nightmarish past that once ravaged her family. Will Rasha survive this daunting, and astounding, adventure?
If you read the chosen book’s original language, or would rather read it translated into a language other than English, that’s totally fine! The aim is to read and talk about books that are available in English translation, but you’re of course very welcome to join if you’re reading another version.
Cast your vote here before Friday 13 September. The date of the first chat is TBC but will be at the beginning of December. Hope to see you there!