A while back, I discovered AmazonCrossing through a book called The Hangman’s Daughter. AmazonCrossing is a division of Amazon that finds popular books in foreign languages and translates them to English so we, in the English-speaking world, can enjoy them.
As a special gift for being a AmazonCrossing newsletter subscriber, I was given a discount on select titles today so I quickly snapped the Kindle version of The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning by an Icelandic author named Halgrimur Helgason.
The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning is about a Croatian hit man in New York who’s botched a mission. He flees the country to go to Iceland only to find that himself out of work. Because of course, murder doesn’t really happen in Iceland. But you’d never know it by the amount of murder mysteries coming out of that country.
Personally, I love reading translated fiction. It’s refreshing to dive into a new culture or setting. I guess it’s the next best thing to actually travelling to a foreign country (but almost nothing is comparable).
Plus, translation always does something funny to prose. I know there will always be something that’s “lost in translation” but until I learn all the languages in the world on Livemocha, I’m going to appreciate all the nuances that translation brings.