The Armchair BEA team says: It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, outside your borders, or outside of your own country or culture. Tell us about the books that transported you to a different world, taught you about a different culture, and/or helped you step into the shoes of someone different from you. What impacted you the most about this book? What books would you recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, let’s start the conversation about diversity and keep it going!
I think it’s good for readers to challenge ourselves now and then, and it’s something I probably don’t do enough of. My natural reading habits just don’t tend toward diversity, or at least not cultural diversity.
And while I know there are lots of English-language books out there that feature cultural diversity, I’ve also been limited in the past by a bias against translated works.
I studied as a vocal music major in college, and it was hammered into us that, given a choice, you should always sing a song in the original language. There are several reasons, but the biggest is that a lot of English translations are just really bad. And it’s easier to stick to the original – which is what the composer intended, after all – than to go tracking down the good ones.
But that’s the thing… “given a choice.” I always had the option to sing in the original language; reading another language, though, isn’t an option for me. So why should I limit myself, just because the version that I can read isn’t exactly what the author envisioned? (Not to mention, novel translators have a lot more freedom than someone trying to set words to music.)
Even after making that realization, I’ve still only read the Stieg Larsson trilogy. I have a lot of catching up to do.
What other bloggers are saying:
What translated works would you recommend I pick up next?