Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Historical Fiction in Translation

The Copper Sign (M)
by Katia Fox ; translated from the German by Lee Chadeayne.

"England, 1161. Ellen, a blacksmith's daughter, wants to become a swordsmith, but for a girl this male profession is unimaginable. Forced to run away from home, she disguises herself as a boy and has the opportunity to accompany a famous swordsmith to Normandy, where the sons of the greatest barons are trained to be knights. Under the assumed identity of Alan she learns the trade and becomes familiar with court life. When she falls in love with Guillaume, a young noble man, she can't divulge her secret for fear it will endanger her dream of fame and recognition. Across countries and time, Ellen struggles to achieve her dream and find her place, always in fear that Thibault, an evil knight who tracks her every move, waits around the corner.

Black Flower (M)
by Young-ha Kim ; translated from the Korean by Charles La Shure

"A tale of star-crossed love, political turmoil, and the dangers of seeking freedom in a new world, Black Flower is an epic story based on a little-known moment in history. The story of the first Korean emigrants in Choson Dynasty, sold to Anniquin farms in Mexico as laborers."

The Flowers of War
by Geling Yan ; translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman

" December 1937. The Japanese have taken Nanking. A group of terrified schoolgirls hides in the compound of an American church. Among them is Shujuan, through whose thirteen-year-old eyes we witness the shocking events that follow. The church is supposedly neutral ground in the war between China and Japan, but it becomes clear the Japanese are not obeying international rules of engagement. As they pour through the streets of Nanking, raping and pillaging the civilian population, the girls are in increasing danger."

The Dark Monk : a hangman's daughter tale (M)
by Oliver Potzsch ; translated from the German by Lee Chadeayne

"1648, a small village in the Alps: In the thick of a blizzard, a town priest discovers he's been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength and scratches a sign in the frost that will lead the town hangman, his daughter, and the town physician in pursuit of a treasure of the Knights Templar. But the priest's murderer is already on their trail, and he's not the only one after the legendary fortune: a dark monk is not far behind, and a band of thieves is roving the countryside, attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic. The race is on, and the stakes are high."

The Confidant (M)
by Hélène Grémillon ; translated from the French by Alison Anderson

"Through a series of condolence letters from an unknown correspondent, Camille Werner learns she may be the daughter of Annie and Louis, two teenage friends who lived in a small French town on the cusp of WWII. Set in Paris, 1975."

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