A delicate work, of life through translation. It's amazing to think that an understanding of hegemonic American wars could be gained through a book ostensibly about poetry and lit in translation. One of the weirdest works I've read since Valeria Luiselli's The Story of My Teeth: equally indefinable, far less maddening, more warming.— Doug
Mireille Gansel grew up in the traumatic aftermath of her family losing everything--including their native languages--to Nazi Germany. In the 1960s and 70s, she translated poets from East Berlin and Vietnam to help broadcast their defiance to the rest of the world. Winner of a French Voices Award, Gansel's debut illustrates the estrangement every translator experiences for the privilege of moving between tongues and muses on how translation becomes an exercise of empathy between those in exile.