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Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for The Night Trembles
Book cover for The Night TremblesBook cover for The Night Trembles

The Night Trembles: A Sampler of New Writing by Women in Translation offers a collection of powerful excerpts from new, forthcoming, and classic books in translation by some of our favorite women authors, all published by Seven Stories Press.

Featuring selections from books by Annie Ernaux, Claudia Rankine, Assia Djebar, Liliana Corobca, Ivana Bodrožić, Nadia Terranova, Clyo Mendoza, and Zyta Rudzka; translated by Alison L. Strayer, Ann Goldstein, Christina MacSweeny, Ellen Elias-Bursać, Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Monica Cure, Tegan Raleigh, and Cecilia Pavón. 

Included in the sampler are passages from:

- Fury by Clyo Mendoza, translated by Christina MacSweeney

- Kinderland by Liliana Corobca, translated by Monica Cure

- The Young Man by Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison L. Strayer

- Trema La Notte (The Night Trembles) by Nadia Terranova, translated by Ann Goldstein

- Dr. Josef's Little Beauty by Zyta Rudzka, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

- Sons, Daughters by Ivana Bodrožić, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać

- Just Us / Solo Nostros by Claudia Rankine, translated by Cecilia Pavón

- The Tongue's Blood Does Not Run Dry: Algerian Stories by Assia Djebar, translated by Tegan Raleigh

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Book cover for The Night Trembles
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blog — May 07

New Books in Translation from Croatia and Poland

Hailing from Croatia and Poland, our two latest literary fiction releases, in their own ways, explore isolation and captivity, memory and legacy. The first of the two, Sons, Daughters by Ivana Bodrožić, deftly translated into English by Ellen Elias-Bursać, is a novel about being locked in: socially, domestically, and intimately, told through three different perspectives, all affected by the patriarchy in their own way. In the second, Antona Lloyd-Jones' stunning translation of Dr. Josef’s Little Beauty by Zyta Rudzka, twin sisters, Leokadia and Helena, living together in a retirement home not far from Warsaw, reflect on their childhoods spent in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

Ivana Bodrožić’s latest award-winning novel tells a story of being locked in: socially, domestically and intimately, told through three different perspectives, all deeply marked and wounded by the patriarchy in their own way.

Here the Croatian poet and writer depicts a wrenching love between a trans man and a cis woman, as well as a demanding love between a mother and a daughter, in a narrative about breaking through and liberation of the mind, family, and society.
 
This is a story of hidden gay and trans relationships, the effects of a near-fatal accident, and an oppressed childhood, where Ivana Bodrožić tackles the issues addressed in her previous works—issues of otherness, identity and gender, pain and guilt, injustice and violence.

A daughter is paralyzed after a car crash, left without the ability to speak, trapped in a hospital bed, unable to move anything but her eyes. Although she is immobilized, her mind reels, moving through time, her memories a salve and a burden. A son is stuck in a body that he doesn’t feel is his own. He endures misperceptions and abuse on the way to becoming who he truly is. A mother who grew up being told she was never good enough, in a world with no place for the desires and choices of women. She carries with her the burden of generations.

These three stories run parallel and intertwine. Three voices deepen and give perspective to one another’s truth, pain, and struggle to survive.

A Holocaust story as fascinating and compelling as it is terrifying and puzzling — a book about aging and war crimes, pain, and pride.

In the middle of summer, omnipresent heat radiates as a group of elderly people are remembering their youth. The story focuses on two twin sisters, Leokadia and Helena, who live together in a retirement home not far from Warsaw. These are not ordinary stories they are sharing, because both of them spent time as children in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. At the center is Helena, who at the age of 12 was saved from extermination by the notorious doctor Josef Mengele, the real-life Nazi officer and physician who was known as the “angel of death” for the experiments he conducted on prisoners, including twins and siblings.

This is a story both provocative and disturbing about the fear that lingers in victims. Was the sisters’ relationship with the executioner a desperate attempt to save their lives, or perhaps they harbor a hideous pride and sense of superiority over other prisoners? Rudzka’s extraordinary writing turns unsettling questions about memory and survival into art.

Annie Ernaux

The author of some twenty works of fiction and memoir, ANNIE ERNAUX is considered by many to be France’s most important writer. In 2022, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She has also won the Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place and the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her body of work. More recently she received the International Strega Prize, the Prix Formentor, the French-American Translation Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for The Years, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Her other works include Exteriors, A Girl's Story, A Woman's Story, The Possession, Simple Passion, HappeningI Remain in DarknessShameA Frozen WomanA Man's Place, and The Young Man

Nadia Terranova

NADIA TERRANOVA (Messina, 1978) is the author of Gli anni al contrario (Italy: Einaudi Stile Libero), Casca il mondo (Mondadori, 2016) and Bruno, il bambino che imparò a volare (Orecchio Acerbo, 2012), She also writes for the Italian newspaper la Repubblica. Farewell, Ghosts is her first book to be published in English.

Claudia Rankine

CLAUDIA RANKINE is the author most recently of Just Us: An American Conversation and Citizen: An American Lyric, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the NAACP Image Award, the L.A. Times Book Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award, was nominated for the National Book Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker and many other publications. She is also the author of four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, the winner of the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, and a contributing editor of Poets & Writers. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2016. Rankine teaches at New York University.

Ivana Bodrožić

Ivana Bodrožić was born in Vukovar in 1982 where she lived until the Yugoslav wars started in 1991 when she then moved to Kumrovec where she stayed with her family at a hotel for displaced persons. She studied at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. In 2005, she published her first poetry collection, entitled Prvi korak u tamu (The First Step into Darkness). Her first novel Hotel Zagorje (Hotel Tito) was published in 2010, receiving high praise from both critics and audiences and becoming a Croatian bestseller. She has since published her second poetry collection Prijelaz za divlje životinje (A Crossing for Wild Animals) and a short story collection 100% pamuk (100% Cotton), which has also won a regional award. Her most recent novel, the political thriller We Trade Our Night For Someone Else's Day, has sparked controversy and curiosity among Croatian readers. 

Liliana Corobca

LILIANA COROBCA was born in the Republic of Moldova. She made her debut with the novel Negrissimo (2003), winner of the ‘Prometheus’ Prize for debut awarded by the România literară magazine; the Prize for Prose Debut of the Republic of Moldova Writers’ Union and The Character in Inter‑war Romanian Novels (2003, translated into Italian and German). She is also the author of the novels A Year in Paradise (2005), Kinderland (2013, translated into German and Slovenian), which was a bestseller of Cartea Românească Publishing House at the Bookfest Book Fair 2013, a recipient of the Prize for Prose awarded by Radio România Cultural, and winner of the Crystal Prize at the International Festival in Vilenica, Slovenia, in 2014; and The Old Maids’ Empire (2015). She has also written a three-act monologue, Censorship for Beginners, published in 2014 in Austria. She has received grants and artists’residencies in Germany, Austria, France, and Poland.
 

Assia Djebar

A beloved author, translator, and filmmaker, ASSIA DJEBAR (1936–2015) was born Fatima-Zohra Imalayen in the Algerian town of Cherchell. Her novels and poems boldly faced the challenges and struggles she knew as a feminist living under patriarchy, and as an intellectual living under colonialism and its aftermath. Djebar’s writing, marked by a regal unwillingness to compromise in the face of ethical, linguistic, and narrative complexities, attracted devoted followers around the world, and received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Venice International Critics’ Prize, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Yourcenar Prize, the Frankfurt Peace Prize, and a knighthood in France’s Legion of Honor. Her works include The Tongue's Blood Does Not Run Dry, Algerian White, and So Vast the Prison. She was the first Algerian woman to be admitted to France’s prestigious École Normale Supérieure, and the first writer from the Maghreb to be admitted to the Académie Française.

Zyta Rudzka

ZYTA RUDZKA (born 1964) is a masterful writer, whose terse and forceful style is rapidly gaining her a place among Poland’s best contemporary novelists. Her first novel, Dr. Josef’s Little Beauty, was revised and reissued in 2021 as one of a trilogy of novels that explore old age and the final stage of life. Despite shared themes, each book stands on its own and has other central themes as well. Rudzka’s other two novels are A Brief Exchange of Fire (2018, winner of the Gdynia Literary Award, shortlisted for the Nike Literary Award) and Soft Tissues (2020, winner of the City of Warsaw Literary Award). Her latest novel, Only Those with Teeth Can Smile, moves away from the old-age theme, but is just as hard-hitting as its predecessors, and is nominated for the 2023 Nike Literary Award, Poland's top literary prize. Her novels are now appearing in foreign translations. Dr. Josef’s Little Beauty is her first to appear in English translation. Rudzka is also an award-winning playwright and poet. In 2022 she won the Poznań Literary Award for her entire oeuvre to date.
 

Clyo Mendoza

CLYO MENDOZA (Oaxaca, México, 1993) is a poet and novelist. She is the author of the poetry collections Anamnesis (2016) and Silencio (2018), which was awarded the Premio Internacional de Poesía Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz, and the novel Furia (2021), which was awarded the Premio Javier Morote by the Confederación Española de Gremios y Asociaciones de Libreros and the Amazon Premio Primera Novela. She has contributed to numerous poetry anthologies, including Poetas parricidas (Cuadrivio, 2014), Los reyes Subterráneos: Veinte poetas jóvenes de México (La Bella Varsovia, 2015), and Liberoamericanas: 80 poetas contemporáneas (Liberoamérica, 2018). Mendoza is the recipient of scholarships from the Mexican Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes and the Fundación Antonio Gala, in Córdoba, Spain. She has also collaborated on various transdisciplinary projects and experiments with painting, photography, and sound collage.
 

Other books by Annie Ernaux