3 works in translation: History and literature intertwined

Three works in translation explore the intertwining of history and literature: Jenny Erpenbeck’s “Kairos,” Oksana Lutsyshyna’s “Ivan and Phoebe,” and Françoise Sagan’s “The Four Corners of the Heart.”

Kairos: The novel, translated by Michael Hofmann, delves into divided Germany with a love story between Katharina and Hans, exploring the generational and cultural gaps and the transformation of historical seasons.
* “Kairos” showcases Erpenbeck’s talent, making her a contender for the Nobel Prize.

Ivan and Phoebe: The award-winning Ukrainian novel, translated by Nina Murray, tells the story of a troubled marriage set during Ukraine’s post-Soviet independence struggle and reflects the impact of historical trauma on a personal level.
* Flaws in Murray’s translation can make the reading experience challenging, but the story remains engaging.

The Four Corners of the Heart: The incomplete work by French writer Françoise Sagan, translated by Sophie R. Lewis, explores the lives of a bourgeois family during mid-20th-century French society.
* The release of this draft manuscript contributes to literary history but may not otherwise serve Sagan’s legacy.

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