Found in translation: the increasing appeal of foreign fiction

Translated fiction seems to be a recurring theme this week.

Yesterday’s announcement of the longlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize brought to mind Sam Jordison’s recent post on the Guardian Books Blog which asked whether we are at last beginning to appreciate writing from the wider world.

The recent upsurge in the popularity of overseas crime fiction suggests that we are indeed becoming more adventurous.

More evidence can be found in the existence of groups like the ‘Found in translation’ book group which meets once every 8 weeks at McDonald Road Library.

Of all our book groups, this one is unique in that it concentrates exclusively on contemporary European literature translated into English.

At the next meeting on 12th March, for example, the group will debate and discuss James Hopkin’s “Winter under water” before going away to read “A thousand peaceful cities” by Jerzy Pilch in time for the get-together on 21st May.

The group have also put together this list of titles they plan to read in the future. If you’re new to contemporary European fiction these books are as good a place as any to start. And joining the group is a great way to meet like-minded people and explore new authors and works together.

So if you’d like to get involved call McDonald Road Library on 0131 529 5636 or email


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