Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Europa Challenge Introduction

Hello! I'm excited to be joining the Europa Challenge community from Seattle!

I first discovered Europa Editions after reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, two years ago. I found Hedgehog to be a welcomed respite from the standard faire available on the “new fiction” tables at Barnes & Noble. I thought, this book is different. It sounds different; it feels different - it even LOOKS different. Why? I've always loved world literature, particularly from latin america, but it had never occurred to me that I only read "classic" world literature. What are people writing now in Italy, France, and Chile?

Since then, I have coveted the gorgeous covers of Europa Editions. But I’ve yet to read enough of the publications to determine if Hedgehog was unique or if all Europa stories are so intriguing.

And so, I am accepting the Europa Reading Challenge, Europa Haver, passport style: seven books from seven different original languages by December 2011.  In order to supplement the two un-read editions on my bookshelf, I visited a used bookstore. After scanning the spines of all the “fiction & literature” aisles, I unearthed four more titles (not including the five copies of Hedgehog askew on a top shelf).  And, I’ve decided my seventh will be one of the new titles releasing this fall:

1. Cecilia, Linda Ferri  (translated from Italian)
2. Minotaur, Benjamin Tammuz (translated from Hebrew)
3. The Proof of the Honey, Salwa Al Neimi (translated from Arabic)
4. Tokyo Fiancee, Amelie Nothomb (translated from French) - FINISHED!
5. The Jasmine Isle, Ioanna Karystiani  (translated from Greek)
6. Tierra del Fuego, Francisco Coloane (translated from Spanish)
7. The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, Beryl Bainbridge (British)

I'll also be posting on my blog as I progress at I post about music and books, so if you want a 4-minute reading break, check out one of the embedded YouTube videos on my blog (which is new and so currently has little content).

Happy reading!  Brief review of Tokyo Fiancee coming up soon . . .