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Re-Viewing the World
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At the Translation Exchange we believe that reading, sharing and translating texts from other countries and cultures is one of the most exciting aspects of language-learning. This brand new project, which launched in March 2021, gives young UK language-learners the opportunity to read and review outstanding works in translation.

Students in Years 12 and 13 across the UK and Ireland are invited to join in this project. Those studying at state schools will be given priority.

Applicants can choose a book from the list below, which includes novels translated from Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish. We will send you a copy of the book and our guide to writing book reviews. When it's ready, we'll publish your review on our website.

Places are limited in this pilot phase of the project. Please fill in this form by 16th July to get involved: This link will take you to a Microsoft Form, where you can register to take part in this project


Cigarette Number Seven  

By Donia Kamal

Translated from Arabic by Nariman Youssef

Published by Hoopoe 

Nadia, now a young woman, looks back on her childhood from an uncertain present. Short, succinct chapters slowly draw us into her world: from the ordinary day to day of quiet hours spent cooking with her grandmother, to the men she has loved, and lost, to her complicated relationship with her absent father, and to her cautious participation in the Egyptian 'revolution.' Against this backdrop of both intensely personal and profoundly public life, we get to know Nadia over three decades. Stunning in its simplicity, Cigarette Number Seven is a deeply intimate novel about family and relationships in turbulent times.

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.


A Whole Life

By Robert Seethaler

Translated by Charlotte Collins

Published by Picador

Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn't ask for her hand in marriage, but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas' heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII - where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus – and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven . . .

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.



A Long Way from Douala 

By Max Lobe 

Translated from French by Ros Schwartz

Published by HopeRoad Publishing

On the trail of Roger, a brother who has gone north in search of football fame in Europe, Choupi, the narrator, takes with him the older Simon, a neighbourhood friend. The bus trip north nearly ends in disaster when, at a pit stop, Simon goes wandering in search of grilled caterpillars. At the police station in Yaounde, the local cop tells them that a feckless boza who wants to go to Europe is not worth police effort and their mother should go and pleasure the police chief if she wants help! Through a series of joyful sparky vignettes, Cameroon life is revealed in all its ups and downs. Issues of life and death are raised but the tone remains light and edgy.

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.


Celestial Bodies 

By Jokha Alharthi  

Translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth 

Published by Sandstone Press 

Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. 

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.


The Spectre of Alexander Wolf 

By Gaito Gazdanov

Translated from Russian by Bryan Karetnyk 

Published by Pushkin Press

‘Of all my memories, of all my life’s innumerable sensations, the most onerous was that of the single murder I had committed.’

A man comes across a short story which recounts in minute detail his killing of a soldier, long ago – from the victim’s point of view. It’s a story that should not exist, and whose author can only be a dead man. So begins the strange quest for the elusive writer ‘Alexander Wolf’. A singular classic, The Spectre of Alexander Wolf is a psychological thriller and existential inquiry into guilt and redemption, coincidence and fate, love and death.




By Domenico Starnone  

Translated from Italian by Jhumpa Lahiri 

Published by Europa Editions  

Imagine a duel. A face-off between a man and a boy. The same blood runs through their veins. One, Daniele Mallarico, is a successful illustrator at the peak of his career. The other, Mario, is his four-year-old grandson who has barely learned to talk but has a few tricks up his loose-fitting sleeves all the same. The older combatant has lived for years in almost complete solitude. The younger one has been dumped with a grandfather he barely knows for 72 hours.  Outside the apartment, pulses Naples, a wily, violent, and passionate city whose influence can never be shaken. 

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.


The Desert and The Drum 

By Mbarek Ould Beyrouk 

Translated from French by Rachael McGill 

Published by Dedalus Books

Everything changes for Rayhana when foreigners with strange machines arrive to mine for metal near her Bedouin camp. One of them is the enigmatic Yahya. Her association with him leads Rayhana to abandon all that she has ever known and flee alone to the city. But when her tribe discover she has stolen their sacred drum, they pursue her to exact their revenge. The Desert and the Drum tells of Rayhana's rift with her family, the disturbing characters she encounters in the metropolis, her attempts to distinguish friend from foe and to find a place for herself amidst the contradictions of contemporary Mauritania. 

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.


City of Jasmine 

By Olga Grjasnowa 

Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire 

Published by Oneworld Publications 

Amal, Hammoudi and Youssef are young and ambitious, the face of modern Syria. But when civil war tears through their homeland, they are left with a horrifying choice: risk death by staying in the country they love, or flee in search of a new life elsewhere? 

Interested in reviewing this book for publication on our website? Click here.


Re-Viewing the World is a partnership between the Translation Exchange and Queen's College Schools Outreach 

Re-Viewing the World Committee

Gemma Craig-Sharples

Cliona Vaughan-Spruce

Talula Reid

Banner photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash