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What’s New in Translation? July 2016

2016/7/15 — 14:00

【Text by K.T. Billey, Megan Bradshaw, Sam Carter, and Selina Aragón】

This month's hottest titles—in translation.

 

廣告

The Blue Blood by Oddný Eir, tr. Philip Roughton, Amazon’s Day One. Review: K.T. Billey, Assistant Editor

The Blue Blood by Oddný Eir, tr. Philip Roughton, Amazon’s Day One. Review: K.T. Billey, Assistant Editor

廣告

The Blue Blood seems simple: a woman wants to have baby. Motherhood has always been “in her cards.” She has found a partner who is game, and they love each other. They try everything, including multiple artificial inseminations from donors selected for their blue eyes—hoping the baby will approximate the father. Disappointment and hope begin to frame the narrator’s consuming obsession: finding someone who can help with ‘their problem.’ Her search for a donor expands into the world, as heartbreak and determination test the limits of her relationship. The reader is privy to the narrator’s pseudo-diary “As if recounting a clever story gives my life purpose…”

In a series of titled vignettes, The Blue Blood does more than chronicle the toll of dreams and bodily realities on our relationships. Blue is everywhere—signs, names, auras, eyes, oceans—a mystic slice reminiscent of Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, revolving around fertility and the windows to the soul. The reader experiences the writer’s symbology and suffers along with the woman struggling to read into and ignore them. We feel the weight of their accumulation, the damaging pressure. Desire and action are not enough. When is trying trying too hard? The nature of coincidence gets tangled with intimacy, confronting us with the what we cannot know, will, or hope into being. Of course the couple’s vacation to Argentina finds them in a mountain village with a Nazi past and many blue eyed specimens. Of course they cannot neuter the dog.

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