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Charco Press & the Art of Translation

Translating fiction can be extraordinarily difficult. So how do you find a publisher that guarantees high quality translations with every book?

We’ve all had that experience of reading a book that was apparently wonderful in the original French which then turns out to be disjointed, stilted and sometimes plain weird in the translation!

Translating fiction from other languages while retaining the spirit of the original is one of the toughest challenges out there for a publishing company. Many try but few succeed as consistently as our featured publisher: Charco Press.

Based in Edinburgh, Charco are a publishing company that specialise in high quality Latin American translations. Their unusual name has a special significance. Charco means “puddle” in Spanish but is also a playful colloquialism used by residents of many Latin American countries when discussing the Atlantic Ocean. Getting great contemporary Latin American fiction to start “crossing the puddle” to reach readers in the English-speaking world is their principal aim.

Here at Golden Hare Books, we’re very excited to have a good range of Charco’s latest offerings, with major Latin American authors such as Daniel Mella, Julian Fuks and Ariana Harwicz on offer, in collaboration with superb translators that include Daniel Hahn, Carolina Orloff and Fionn Petch.

 

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Themes of family and identity run through Julian Fuks’ Resistance, a superb portrayal of a family fleeing the dictatorship in 1970s Argentina and the formation of a new life under extraordinary circumstances, told from the point of view of the youngest child. Examining identity and what it means to be a family, it’s a powerfully forensic look at what it means to belong to a place, to a family, to your own past. Currently available online and in our Stockbridge store.

 

 

 

The choice to discuss women’s lives in a frank, fearless manner is Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz (Translated by Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff). This emotionally profound novel uses recognisable Western storytelling tropes to unnervingly explore ideas of female madness, tearing off chunks of Quentin Tarantino, Sylvia Plath and Clarice Lispector and then repurposing them for Harwicz’s own raw, intense purposes, exploring the ruinous effects of passion and the even more debilitating effects of its absence. Available now online and in our Stockbridge store.

 

 

Breathtakingly honest in its depictions of a family rocked by the tragic death of 31 year old lifeguard Aleandro, Daniel Mella’s Older Brother pulls no punches in exposing the reality of grief. As the family copes with the sudden shock of losing the energetic and well loved Alejandro, the book explores whether death can be put into words and if we can ever truly rationalise loss or embrace it. Mella constantly uses unusual tenses and framing which makes it seem as if the pain experienced is still on the horizon, even as it cuts into the family in the present. A superb and unforgettable read, available online and in our Edinburgh book store.

 

 

Exploring Peru’s oppressive recent history through the lens of a real life leader in the military regime (who also happens to have been the author’s father), Renato Cisneros’ extraordinary The Distance Between Us investigates the universal dimensions of family dynamics while plunging deep into the socio-political truths and historical controversies of a country scarred by atrocity. Eye opening to the English-speaking reader and anyone unfamiliar with Peru’s history. Available online and in our Stockbridge store.

 

A selection of titles from Charco Press.

 

In addition to these excellent works, we have many other titles from Charco here at Golden Hare. These include Ricardo Romero’s The President’s Room and Luis Sagasti’s Fireflies, available in store.

In addition to this excellent supply of Charco Press books, we have an upcoming interview with Charco-published author Julian Fuks on the 23rd August 2018 at 6:30pm as part of Golden Hare’s Book Fringe. The event is free and unticketed, so arrive early to get a seat! Julian will be answering audience questions and signing copies of Resistance at our Stockbridge store.