Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

15 stories about language and translation


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Translator Jennifer Croft’s debut novel The Extinction of Irena Rey is a rare and very special thing: a literary mystery set in a Polish forest, about power, language and the non-human world, revolving around a group of translators whose author goes missing. It’s a treat for those of us who are fascinated by what happens when meaning travels between languages, but also an immensely entertaining book for anyone looking for sharp humour, set in a wilderness where anything can happen.

We’re so excited to be hosting a virtual event with Jennifer Croft on Wednesday March 27th at 6.30pm. Jennifer will be in conversation with another translator, Annie Rutherford, who also runs our Women in Translation book group. You can book your slot to join them HERE.

Thinking about The Extinction of Irena Rey, we couldn’t resist going in search of more fiction, not IN translation but ABOUT it (although perhaps the difference is all but clear cut?). The list we came up with features mostly novels, but also a couple of individual short stories ("Story of Your Life" from Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang and "Averroes's Search" by Jorge Luis Borges, collected in The Aleph). In all of them , languages, their dynamics and power, are more than tools for telling a story - they are the story itself.

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