’Tis the season for blog and website awards! Brave New Words has been listed as one of the top 10 blogs on translation. See the list here, and ignore the fact that I’ve been referred to as male, even though I’m actually female.
All these nominations and awards are much appreciated. Thanks so much to all my readers for reading, commenting, and nominating this blog!
I have a friend who loves to read novels set in the city or country he’s about to travel to. For example, last year, we both attended a conference in San Francisco, and he prepared in part by reading novels (and also watching films) set in that city. I know other people who like to do the same thing as a way of entering holiday mode.
As for me, I actually prefer reading such novels after I’ve been on the vacation. That’s because then I can picture the scenes and I can understand the interaction of setting with plot and character better. Also, it keeps that holiday mode going a bit longer. It’s just a matter of personal preference, though.
Not long ago, I was at the library, browsing shelves, and I randomly picked up a book called Ashes to Dust by Yrsa Sigurdottir, translated from Icelandic to English by Philip Roughton. I turned to the back cover and saw that this crime novel was set in Iceland’s Westmann Islands (the so-called Vesuvius of the North), where I’d been earlier this year. That immediately sparked my interest and I checked out the book. I loved that the book was set in a place that I’d visited and that I knew something about. It made my enjoyment of the story much deeper and more personal somehow. And reading the novel also brought back wonderful memories from my holiday to Iceland.
What about you? Do you enjoy reading books before/after a vacation that are set in the vacation destination? Why or why not? And do you have any favorite such novels to recommend?
One of my major goals is that I hope to continue promoting a couple of Swedish authors whose works are unfortunately not available in English yet. I’m working on some sample translations for them and I’m helping them query publishers in the US and the UK. They are wonderful authors but because they are neither well-known nor crime novelists, it’s hard for them to find publishers who will publish translations of their work. But I’m hopeful!
Originally from Chicago, I lived in southern Sweden for nearly 5.5 years, and moved to southern Wales in September 2006. I completed a Ph.D. translation studies in June 2009 at Swansea University, with a dissertation on the translation of children's literature.
Now I live in Norwich, England, where I am a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and I also work as a translator, writer, and editor.
Contact me at bravenewwords (AT) gmail (DOT) com.