Margaret Jull Costa

Diary of the Fall

Original title: Diário da queda (2011)
Author: Michel Laub
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa

Shortlisted for the 2016 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

‘I often dreamed about the moment of the fall, a silence that lasted a second, possibly two, a room full of sixty people and no one making a sound, as if everyone were waiting for my classmate to cry out … but he lay on the ground with his eyes closed’

A schoolboy prank goes horribly wrong, and a thirteen-year-old boy is left injured. Years later, one of the classmates relives the episode as he tries to come to terms with his demons.

Diary of the Fall is the story of three generations: a man examining the mistakes of his past, and his struggle for forgiveness; a father with Alzheimer’s, for whom recording every memory has become an obsession; and a grandfather who survived Auschwitz, filling notebook after notebook with the false memories of someone desperate to forget.

Michel Laub’s novel asks the most basic – and yet most complex – questions about history and identity, exploring what stories we choose to tell about ourselves and how we become the people we are. (Source: publisher)

Diary of the Fall_2_Michel Laub

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Harvill Secker (3 April 2014)
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
ISBN-10: 1846557321
ISBN-13: 978-1846557323
Click here to buy this book

Diary of the Fall_3_Michel Laub

Hardcover: 225 pages
Publisher: Other Press (NY); Reprint edition (26 Aug. 2014)
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
ISBN-10: 1590516516
ISBN-13: 978-1590516515
Click here to buy this book

Diary of the Fall_Michel Laub

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage (16 April 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0099581795
ISBN-13: 978-0099581796
Click here to buy this book

Translated fiction sells better in the UK than English fiction

Research from Nielsen commissioned by the Man Booker International prize has shown that foreign authors are driving a boom in UK sales of translated literary fiction.

Brazilian Portuguese was among the 10 most popular translated books in 2001, together with French, Spanish, Russian and Mandarin. The top translated book in that year was the bestselling The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho translated by Alan R. Clarke (114,430 copies sold) at the top, followed by Veronika Decides to Die, also by Paulo Coelho and translated by Margaret Jull Costa, which came in 6th with 23,941 copies sold.

Brazilian Portuguese has come 10th in the 2015 list of top languages (featuring French, Italian, Japanese, Swedish and German), and sadly not for a new book, but for the same version of Coelho’s The Alchemist translated by Alan R. Clarke, with 22,978 copies sold last year.

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