This coming Wednesday, 15th. May, is European Literature Night and there are events taking place simultaneously in capital cities including one up here in Edinburgh and another at the British Library in London - click there for full details, and see also the panel discussion, Writing, Creativity and Translation, on the role of translation in European fiction.
Among the writers giving readings and in conversation in London on Wednesday evening is the Catalan author Jordi Punti whose book Lost Luggage has been translated into 15 languages and won the Spanish National Critics' Prize in 2011. I have it on my TBR pile, and was drawn partly by the compliments it has received in reviews - "A conjuring trick. Incomparable literature", "an astonishing literary artefact. Marvellous...", and also by the blurb:
"Christof, Christophe, Christopher and Cristòfol are four brothers - sons of the same father and four very different mothers, yet none of them knows of the others' existence. They live in Frankfurt, Paris, London and Barcelona and they unwittingly share the fact their father, a truck driver, abandoned them when they were little and they never heard from him again.
Then one day, Cristòfol is contacted by the police: his father is officially a missing person. This fact leads him to discover that he has three half-brothers, and the four young men come together for the first time... Divided by geography yet united by blood, the "Cristobales' set out on a quest to find their father, one that is painful, hilarious and extraordinary. They discover a man who during thirty years of driving was able to escape the darkness of Franco's Spain and to explore a luminous Europe, a journey that, with the birth of his sons, both opened and broke his heart."
Now for some pure escapist reading. I picked up Mary Stewart's Thornyhold late last night and quickly became happily engrossed in it. Here's the gist:
"To Gilly, Thornyhold is an enchanted cottage, a bequest from her cousin whose magical visits had brightened a lonely childhood. And it comes just in time to save Gilly from a bleak future after the death of her parents. Thornyhold has a resident black cat - and a reputation for magic; as she learns more about her cousin's herbalist skills, her abilities to foresee events and to heal, Gilly realises that she has inherited more than just the house itself ..."
That suits my reading mood perfectly.
Thanks to everyone who entered the draw to win a copy of Emma Donoghue's Astray, and who named a favourite book about travelling or journeys in so doing. It is Nicky's name which has come out of the hat, so I'll get the book on its way very soon, and I hope we'll have another draw before long.