Red Axe Covers #8: Three Kinds of Kissing

With his cover for Helen Lamb’s vividly atmospheric novel Three Kinds of Kissing, designer Mark Mechan aimed to capture the mood of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s – the period in which the story takes place. This is one of the most detailed, unique covers he’s created for us. In this blog post he breaks down his design process.

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Helen Lamb and Three Kinds of Kissing

The subtle spellbinding strength of Helen’s writing comes from an intuitive, keenly felt sense of what makes human lives so special, and sometimes so messy and difficult. Helen knew that what doesn’t get talked about, what lies behind a look or a glance, is what really matters. This unswerving commitment to the “truth” of her characters runs through Three Kinds of Kissing. The story of Grace and Olive, and of the secret that binds them together and tears them apart, may be a work of fiction but it is unwaveringly honest. Chris Powici, writer and former partner of the late Helen Lamb, discusses Lamb’s writing process and interests.

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The Divided Passions of Translation Readers

What type of translated novels do you most like? As mentioned in our previous blog post, we’re now wrapping up Series 1 of our Think in Translation podcast and blog. At the start of this project we sent out a two-question survey with the aim of gaining insight into what interests people about translation and translated books. In the blog post that follows, our founder Allan Cameron reveals the responses to the second question of our survey and comments on the divided passions of people who read books in translation.

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A Good Translator is Never Satisfied: What it’s Like to Work in Literary Translation

What would you like to know about the process of translating novels? We’re now wrapping up Series 1 of our Think in Translation podcast and blog. Thank you to all who’ve listened and participated in our debate on literary translation! At the start of this project we sent out a two-question survey in the hopes of getting a better sense of what it is about translation and translated books that most interests our readers and listeners. The following blog post is the first of two parts (we’ll do one post per question) in which Allan Cameron, Vagabond’s founder as well as a writer and translator himself, responds to the questions we received.

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Found in Translation, Lost in its Prizes: The Trouble with Translated Literature Awards

While in other countries literary translations are broadly published and read, the Anglo-American world seems stubborn in its preference for homegrown literature. Currently attempts are being made to boost the popularity of foreign works through the introduction of new literary awards. But to what extent can literary prizes really help foreign authors to get a firm footing in the English literary market? In this blog post we explore literary translation prizes from a variety of angles to analyse what works and what could use some improvement.

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Thinking in Translation: On the Perks and Pitfalls of Being Multilingual

The life of a non-native speaker has its perks and its challenges: how do you navigate your way through a language that isn’t your own? What pitfalls should you expect? Is there a way to fit in? In this week’s Think in Translation blog post, two logophiles with different backgrounds talk about their experiences as they’ve worked to find their way around the winds and bends of the linguistic maze. 

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Puid Metsa (Coals to Newcastle): Bringing Music and Literature Across Borders

The title of this blog post, Puid Metsa (literally “wood to the forest”, the equivalent of the English saying “coals to Newcastle”), refers to the theme song for Vagabond Voice’s Think in Translation podcast. In this blog post translator and musician Matthew Hyde discusses the inspiration behind this song title as well as his interesting career path.

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The Craft of Translation

Can a translation be beautiful? Is it even noticed? In this instalment of our Think in Translation blog series, Vagabond’s founder Allan Cameron, who has translated dozens of books, discusses his process for translating The Anonymous Novel from Italian into English. The Anonymous Novel has received much critical praise, including being called “a literary miracle” by Vitali Vitaliev. The Herald said Allan’s translation brilliantly conveys the sense “that some Russian Master had been leaning over [the author’s] shoulder, guiding his hand.”

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