Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Unscary Translations

We're less afraid of tackling translated fiction these days, says Stuart Evers on The Guardian blog, and attributes this in no small part to the popularity of Japanese author, Haruki Murakami who proved that foreign fiction didn't have to be difficult and inaccessible, and so paved the way for others :
The Murakami effect has obviously benefited other Japanese writers such as Ryu Murakami (no relation), Hitomi Kanehara and Natsuo Kirino, but it's also helped people cast off negative preconceptions. Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Shadows of the Wind was a number-one bestseller, proving sales and translations are not mutually exclusive. This is especially true of crime writing, with more and more foreign novels appearing in translation. Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Anne Elliot, Boris Akunin and the irresistible Fred Vargas deliver unusual and compelling novels and are valued as highly as their English-writing contemporaries.

1 comment:

Amir said...

Murakami has been translating American fiction into Japanese for decades. I have been told that, to a Japanese reader, his own prose "reads like American English".

I am looking forward to his memoir about running!