One of the many gifts that literature gives us is the ability to read books that weren’t originally written in our native tongue. Novels that were originally written in another language and then translated to English provide a different reading experience, because their authors have used a completely different language and with that, a different perspective.
At our bookstore in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta, we’re all about foreign language books. Here are 5 books that were written in another language originally and then translated to English that we think every book lover should read:
1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (Originally written in Spanish) This book has frequently been listed as one of the most greatest works ever written, and has been proclaimed one of the most influential works of the Spanish Golden Age.
2. Touch by Adania Shibli (Originally written in Arabic) This book follows the story of a young girl living on the West Bank of Palestine. Composed of stunningly visual poem-like vignettes, this book will change your perspective on Palestinian life, and of the Arabic language, forever.
3. The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Originally written in Dutch) The story of a of an unwilling farmer set in the landscape of The Netherlands, and how despite everything against him and the complexity of human relationships, he has hope for a better future. Bakker was the first Dutch writer to win the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with this book in 2010.
4. The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende (Originally written in Spanish) This novel was rejected by several publishers before being published in 1982, where it quickly rose to fame as a top-seller and is now recognized as one of Allende’s greatest works and has been translated into over 37 different languages.
5. Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (Originally written in Russian) Vampires, shape-shifters, sorcerers...an ancient race of superhumans. Need we say more? Lukyanenko is arguably the most popular fantasy and sci-fi writer in Russia, and his saga has been translated into English. We guarentee you’ll love this series.
We certainly hope you enjoy these books as much as we did. If you have favorite foreign language books that you don’t see here, please them share with us in the comments. We’d love to hear about them.
At A Page in the Sun, our bookshop in Puerto Vallarta, we have the widest variety of used books available in the area. Come on down to our Romantic Zone cafe to pick one up today and enjoy the magic of books!