In hopes of promoting the internationalization of Basque literature, the Etxepare Institute annually supports the translation of Basque works. In the last few weeks, two of these translations were published, and are now available in English: Nevada Days by Bernardo Atxaga, and Twist by Harkatiz Cano. Nevada Days was published by British publisher, MacLehose Press, based in London; while Twist was published by US publisher, Archipelago, based in Brooklyn, New York.
Donostia-San Sebastian. According to a note from the Etxepare Basque Institute, singer and translator, Amaia Gabantxo translated Twist that was published by Archipelago Books. Cano published it in 2011, and received the Euskadi Literature Prize in 2012. Twist begins with the disappearance and murder of two militants from an armed group. A third militant and the friend of both, Diego Lazkano, feels responsible for their death because he betrayed his companions. For more than twenty years, he feeds on the shadows of his friends, as if it were his responsibility to live their lives for them, as if it were possibility to live three lives at a time. Beyond the concrete reality of the Basque conflict that appears in the novel, Harkaitz Cano raises the challenges that arise when one flees form his own skin and gets into the skin of another.
Nevada Days was translated by Margaret Jull Costa and was published by MacLehose Press Editions. This is the seventh translation they have done of Atxaga’s works. This book, tells the story of the author’s trip to Nevada from August 2007 to June 2009, but it is also so much more. He talks about his experiences, real-life mixed with memories, images, dreams and evocations. It is a story made up of stories, like a Chinese box that shows us how each experience we live, each bond created between us and others, goes beyond temporal and spatial distances, each emotion that impacts us, each threat we fight remains indelible, and makes us who we are. This work won the Euskadi Literature Prize in 2014.