I decided to create this tag because I read a lot of books translated from a foreign language, and sometimes I read books in Spanish and Russian. In my blog, I often try to bring attention to books translated from another language and there are many gems to discover in this category. I am not tagging anyone and everyone is free to participate.
I. A translated novel you would recommend to everyone:
Silence by Shūsaku Endō (translated from the Japanese)
It is easy to choose some Russian classic here, but I thought I would bring attention to this novel by Shūsaku Endō. This 1966 historical fiction novel tells of a Jesuit missionary sent to Japan in the 17th century at the time when Christians were persecuted. This powerful novel explores many themes, including the strength and limits of faith and belief, betrayal, and religion vs. particular culture and history. There is also a movie of the same name directed by Martin Scorsese, who is probably the world’s biggest fan of this book.
II. A recently read “old” translated novel you enjoyed:
The Crime of Father Amaro by Eça de Queirós (translated from the Portuguese)
This book pleasantly surprised me last month. It started as one genre, but finished as another with unexpected turns along the way. The translation by Nan Flanagan was good, and, when reading, the reader is really transported into a provincial Portuguese town of the past where hypocrisy comes to light in an unexpected way.
III. A translated novel you could not get into:
At Dusk by Hwang Sok Yong (translated from the Korean)
I picked up this short novel because the premise appealed to me: it is about musings on the past by an architect who looks back on his life, contemplating modernisation and urban changes, as well as his past affair with one young woman who now contacts him after many years to renew the acquaintance. I enjoyed the translation by Sora Kim-Russell, but I also found the writing meandering and the characters – bland.
IV. Your most anticipated translated novel release:
Fu Ping by Wang Anyi (translated from the Chinese)
The novel is about one orphaned girl and a reluctant bride-to-be Fu Ping who arrives to Shanghai and explores life there. On goodreads it says that this novel is “a keenly observed portrait of the lives of lower-class women in Shanghai in the early years of the People’s Republic of China” and also states that, in the book, the author “explores the daily lives of migrants from rural areas and other people on the margins of urban life”. It certainly sounds promising.
V. A “foreign-language” author you would love to read more of:
Kobo Abe (Japanese)
After spellbinding The Woman in the Dunes, I want to read everything by Kobo Abe and my next stop is existential and enigmatic The Face of Another, a book which Abe wrote after The Woman in the Dunes. The Face of Another explores “alienation and the loss of identity”, themes which I am very interested in.
VI. A translated novel which you consider to be better than the film:
The Double by José Saramago (translated from the Portuguese)
I thought the film Enemy  based on the novel The Double was an incomprehensible mess compared to the novel. The novel is good and explores deep issues of identity and its “theft”. All books by Saramago are unique and thought-provoking – my favoruite being The Cave , and I also consider Saramago’s book Blindness to be much better than the 2008 film.
VII. A translated “philosophical” fiction book you recommend:
The Plague by Albert Camus (translated from the French)
My readers already know that I have a soft spot for Albert Camus and his books, and would recommend to everyone his The Outsider  and The Plague . The Plague tells of an epidemic that grips the city of Oran, French Algeria. It all starts with a colony of rats that starts to die in the streets. The author is interested to explore how people behave in times of crisis and what do they think about when they are close to death.
VIII. A translated fiction book that has been on your TBR for far too long:
Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac (translated from the French)
Some classics have been on my TBR list for far too long and one of them is Lost Illusions by Balzac. I have always wanted to read this book. It tells of a poet-to-be Lucien Chardon who arrives to a big city with ambitions, but not much else (being poor and very naïve). A rich married woman takes him as her protege as he tries to find his feet in buzzing Paris.
IX. A popular translated fiction book you have not yet read:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (translated from the Swedish)
This is a very popular book indeed and I must admit I have not read it yet, though I know its synopsis and read many reviews of it. I also know of the Swedish film of 2015 and have heard news that there is a US remake coming of the film which will star Tom Hanks in the titular role.
X. A translated fiction book you have heard a lot about and would like to find more about or read:
A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (translated from the French)
I do not normally go for YA or certain kinds of fantasy novels, but this one has a gorgeous cover and I am somewhat interested in the story. A Winter’s Promise or Les Fiancés de l’hiver tells of floating celestial islands called arks inhabited by beings with special powers. The main character is Ophelia who can read the past of objects and travel through mirrors. When she is promised in marriage to an influential member of a distant clan and travels to a faraway land, her perception of the world changes and she encounters dangers she never knew existed. The book has been called “a fantastical story of intrigue and suspense that is becoming a worldwide hit phenomenon” and, apparently, there is also already a sequel.
Do you read translated fiction? What is your favourite or least favourite translated book?