With the aim of raising awareness of Basque literature around the world, every year the Etxepare Institute promotes the translation of Basque literature into other languages. Two of these translations have been published in English in recent weeks: “Nevada Days” by Bernardo Atxaga and “Twist” by Harkaitz Cano.
Basque translator, singer and scholar Amaia Gabantxo translated Twist for Archipelago Books. Published in 2011, Cano’s book won the Euskadi Literature Prize in 2012. Set in the politically charged climate of the Basque Country in the 1980s, Twist tells the story of the disappearance and brutal murder of two ETA militants at the hands of the Spanish army. The novel centers on their friend and fellow activist Diego Lazkano, who, since revealing his comrades to the authorities, has been tormented by guilt. With Diego as a point of departure, the novel enters into the lives of numerous characters directly or indirectly implicated in the murder. In Twist, Harkaitz Cano provides a multi-vocal account of a conscience and a society in turmoil. It is a tale of guilt, love, friendship, and betrayal, and of the difficulties that arise when one flees one’s own skin to inhabit the minds of others.
The novel Nevada Days was translated from Basque by Margaret Jull Costa for MacLehose Press Editions. It is the seventh translation by the author published by MacLehose. This is the story of a writer who travels to Nevada, United States, in August 2007 and stays until June 2008. But Nevada Days is also much more. It is a story where the real events blend with memories, images, dreams and evocations. It is a story made of stories, like a Chinese box, that shows us how each experience we live, each bond created between people beyond temporal and spatial distances, each emotion that impacts us, each threat we fight remains indelible. And it makes us what we are. The novel won the Euskadi Literature Prize in 2014.