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Translated Books

Stories to Read by Candlelight by Jean Lorrain

Eight stories by Jean Lorrain, first published in the 1890s in the collection Contes pour lire à la chandelle, are now available in this English edition for the first time. Jean draws the reader back in time to his provincial childhood when his grandmother’s seamstress would tell him stories that gave him goose bumps and made him jump under the covers.

Published by Odyssey Books, translated by me, illustrated by Erin-Claire Barrow. Available at Amazon and Booktopia.

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Spiridon by George Sand

An abbot’s ghost searches for an intelligent monk to exhume his manuscript from a hellish crypt and learn the truth that monks lack two things: freedom of inquiry and benevolence.

Read three quite long reviews of my translation on Amazon. Here’s a sample from one review:

“I feel that someone needs to point out what an important publishing event this English translation of George Sand’s Spiridion constitutes. According to translator Patricia Worth, the only previous English copy of the novel was a very old and virtually unobtainable edition. Her rendering of Sand’s “Gothic philosophical novel”, as she describes it, into clear and flowing modern prose is thus a gift for anyone willing and able to take advantage of it. Although not an easy read, and presumably only for those deeply interested in matters of spirituality and human psychology, the work, set completely in a Catholic monastery (and thus portraying absolutely no women characters), offers great challenges and rewards for believers and non-believers alike.

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Winter Tales by Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé

For fans of Turgenev and Tolstoy, these 19th-century tales set in Russia and told by French author E-M de Vogüé are now available in the first English translation in 123 years. The narrator visits a former serf owner who tells of the ups and downs in the lives of peasants struggling to live freely after serfdom is abolished.

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The Mask by Claudine Jacques

In New Caledonian bushland a woman rents a bamboo house where she finds an exotic mask. It’s just the impetus she needs to begin her writing career. She talks to the mask and it responds…

A bilingual New Caledonian short story in French and English.

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Life Sentence and The Blue Cross by Claudine Jacques

It’s mid-twentieth century when two New Caledonian men contract leprosy and reflect on what they call their ‘life sentence’, but when a cure is discovered they realise it wasn’t the end of life after all.

And in today’s New Caledonia, an indigenous woman tolerates her alcoholic husband until his behaviour affects their child. She considers leaving but a charity, the Blue Cross, offers to help him.

A bilingual New Caledonian book in French and English.

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