Today a new swap debuted, the literature in translation swap. I came up with this theme myself, thinking it would be a good way of introducing each other to new authors. (If you don't know what a swap is, check out the SWAP FAQ)
What are participants allowed to offer in the swap?
Any book originally written in French, Norwegian, Russian, Serbia, Spanish, etc. (the list is endless) and subsequently translated into English.
Here's what I decided to offer:
The Dark Bride by Laura Restrepo...
Translated from the Spanish by the author!
I picked up this book because I needed a new Colombian author for an international reading challenge that I'm working on this year (see this post for more details on the challenge). I'm eager to read it, especially having seen positive blurbs from Allende and García Márquez.
Once a month, the refinery workers of the Tropical Oil Company descend upon Tora, a city in the Colombian forest. They journey down from the mountains searching for earthly bliss and hoping to encounter Sayonara, the legendary Indian prostitute who rules their squalid paradise like a queen. Beautiful, exotic, and mysterious, Sayonara, the undisputed barrio angel, captivates whoever crosses her path. Then, one day, she violates the unwritten rules of her profession and falls in love with a man she can never have. Sayonara's unrequited passion has tragic consequences not only for her, but for all those whose lives ultimately depend on the Tropical Oil Company.
A slyly humorous yet poignant love story, The Dark Bride lovingly recreates the lusty, heartrending world of Colombian prostitutes and the men of the oil fields who are entranced by them. Full of wit and intelligence, tragedy and compassion, The Dark Bride is luminous and unforgettable.
"Love, lust, despair, pride, violence, magic and irrational hope give depth and texture to this page-turning novel." --Isabel Allende
"Laura Restrepo breathes life into a singular amalgam of journalistic investigation and literary creation." --Gabriel García Márquez