I didn't really go to Reading in 2014, except to transit - if I recall correctly - at the station en route elsewhere. Otherwise I could have titled this post '2014 in Reading'.
But - happy new year! Here's hoping for new reading adventures and as much literary excitement as you can handle.
2014, it turns out, was another thumping year of reading translated fiction for me (by design, as you may recall). My original intention was to concentrate on fiction from various Indian languages. I was unable to find any until almost the end of the year, and I was forced to find other literatures to consume instead.
For instance, Arabic. Now, I know, I know, I was meant to discuss the Arabic fiction in translation that I read. I was variously lazy and dilatory, and then the year was over.
In December, though, I landed a minor treasure-trove of fiction from the Sahitya Akademi, India's pre-eminent literary society. I spent a few days immersed in short stories and novels from various parts of the country. Some of the represented languages were Bodo, Nepali, Gujarati and Malayalam. The remainder I hope to consume in 2015.
I read 140 books in 2014. After the excesses of the previous year, this is a sharp drop-off, but to be honest, I didn't expect to cross a hundred at all. In fact, thinking about the books, not many stand out in my mind. I'll eventually mention the few that do - and this is not because others weren't important or interesting, but that my memory is a sieve and it gets worse every year.
Of the 140, 97 were translations. Since I intended to concentrate on translations, this is not surprising. There were 39 languages represented. Check 'em out:
The labels are a bit fuzzy, so here's the list (Indian languages in red):
Arabic Bengali Bodo Catalan Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch French Galician German Greek Gujarati Hebrew Hindi Italian Japanese Kannada Kashmiri Korean Magyar Malayalam Marathi Nepali Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Sesotho Spanish Swedish Telugu Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese
Pretty cool, huh? Sesotho, even. And here is a chart of the countries involved:
Here's a clearer list:
Iran Germany France Japan Greece Italy Argentina Romania El Salvador Morocco Finland Sweden France Syria Lesotho China Albania Egypt Lebanon Libya Iraq India Spain Korea Brazil Russia Turkey Poland Uzbekistan Croatia Holland Denmark Mexico Sudan Hungary Ukraine Tunisia Czech Israel Vietnam
At this point, of course, you have no reason to believe me when I say that in another post I'll write about the books that made a (memorable) impression on me in 2014.