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双语:BBC推荐的12本不可不读的好书

2015-08-04    来源:英国广播公司    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:BBC推荐的12本不可不读的好书

1. Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)
朱诺·迪亚斯,《奥斯卡·瓦奥短暂而奇妙的一生》(2007年)

The winner in this BBC Culture critics' poll is Junot Diaz's first novel, about New Jersey ghetto-nerd Oscar, who dreams of being the Dominican-American Tolkien and finding love. It also was named as the number-one book by the most critics. "It is a big deal for me to fall in love with a book when its DNA is science fiction, fantasy and testosterone," says Elizabeth Taylor, The Chicago Tribune's literary editor-at-large. "This was only the second book by a Latino author to receive the Pulitzer Prize in fiction," notes critic and author Rigoberto Gonzalez. "Oscar Wao reaffirmed the strong connections Latinos maintain with their ancestral homeland's culture, language and history. It also re-energised these questions: Who is American? What is the American experience?" (Riverhead)
这次BBC文化栏目评选的最佳小说是朱诺·迪亚斯的处女作,该书主人公名叫奥斯卡,他是来自新泽西贫民窟的多米尼加裔美国宅男,他渴望与异性接触,并梦想着成为美国的托尔金。大多数评论员将其列为书单中的第一名。《芝加哥论坛报》的文学特约编辑伊丽莎白·泰勒评价道:“我从未想过,我会如此钟爱一本充满白日梦和男性荷尔蒙的科幻小说。”评论家、作家里戈伯特·冈萨雷斯表示:“迪亚斯是第二位荣获普利策奖的拉丁裔小说作家。”评论家、剧作家格雷格·巴里奥斯同样盛赞:“奥斯卡·瓦奥重新确认了拉丁美洲人与家乡的文化、语言和历史之间根深蒂固的联系。这也让我们重新思考:什么样的人才是美国人?美国印象到底是什么?”(Riverhead出版社)

2. Edward P Jones, The Known World (2003)
爱德华·P·琼斯,《已知的世界》(2003年)

Set in 1855 on the plantation of Henry Townsend – born a slave, now a slave-owner – The Known World is a triumph of empathy, immersing readers in a complex moral time without making simple judgments. Facing an early death, Townsend ponders the future of his 50-acre Virginia plantation and the slaves he treats the way his former owner, now his mentor, taught him. "In my reading, The Known World is the best American novel published in the 21st Century – a stunning work about humans experiencing and surviving American slavery," notes critic Walton Muyumba, author of The Shadow and the Act. C Max Magee, founder and editor of The Millions writes, "Jones's novel has an epic, complex sweep and takes an unflinching and engrossing view of America's messy history." (Amistad)
故事发生在1855年的一个种植园,主人公亨利·汤森德生为奴隶,现为奴隶主。此书是激起共情的典范之作,面对复杂的道德情感,读者感同身受,不会妄下定论。汤森德拥有弗尼吉亚州50英亩种植园和一些奴隶,他对待奴隶的方式与自己曾经的奴隶主如出一辙。面对早逝的命运,对于将来如何处置他的财产,汤森德总是诸多考量。《阴影和艺术》的作者沃尔顿·穆永巴评价说:“在我读过的书中,《已知的世界》是21世纪出版的最优秀的美国小说——关于人生阅历和美国奴隶生存的惊人之作。”电子杂志《百万》的创始人兼编辑C·马克斯·麦基写道:“《已知的世界》以史诗般的宏大视角,直面美国那段不堪回首的历史,引人入胜。”(Amistad出版社)

3. Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (2009)
希拉里·曼特尔,《狼厅》(2009年)

Mantel's boldly reimagined saga of 16th Century Europe, told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, won the Man Booker and National Book Critics Circle awards, was adapted to the stage and has been filmed as a new BBC miniseries. "The brilliance of retelling an oft-told tale is beautifully illustrated in Mantel's flawless examination of power through the rise of Thomas Cromwell," notes critic Karen R Long. Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor and co-host of Well Read TV, writes: "I have never felt so completely catapulted into a character's mind, not to mention a long ago and far away place." Mantel's sequel, Bring in the Bodies, also gathered votes. (Picador)
本书从托马斯·克伦威尔的视角,大胆畅想,再现了16世纪欧洲传奇,赢得了布克奖和美国国家图书评论界奖,后来被改编成舞台剧,还被BBC改编成了迷你剧。评论家凯伦·R·朗称赞:“曼特尔用他的才华和智慧形象生动、天衣无缝地讲述了这个老生常谈的故事——托马斯·克伦威尔的权臣之路。”《西雅图时报》图书编辑和《好好读书》电视的搭档主持玛丽·安·格温也写道:“我从未如此深入一个人物的灵魂,更何况这个人物早已作古,离我很遥远。”(Picador出版社)

4. Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (2004)
玛丽琳·罗宾逊 ,《吉利德》(2004年)

The Rev John Ames, a small-town Iowa minister, describes his life and anti-slavery heritage to his young son in dazzling lyrical language in this first instalment of Robinson's trilogy (along with Home and Lila)."I can't think of a living novelist who writes more seriously and profoundly about religious faith," writes critic and author Dawn Raffel, who ranked Gilead first on her list. "Robinson is both an 'ideas' writer and an exquisite prose stylist, investigating the big questions within the intimate space of family and community. She is also a supremely good storyteller." Karen R Long, former book editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who now manages the Anisfield-Wolf book awards, adds, “This multi-generational story inculcates a desire for transcendence, and makes a case for spiritual life in the 21st Century – its own kind of miracle. Gilead will be read in 100 years.” (Picador)
这是罗宾逊三部曲中的第一部(另外两部是《回家》和《莱拉》),小说中,约翰·艾姆斯是爱荷华州一个小镇上的传教士,他用令人印象深刻的抒情语言给小儿子讲述了自己的一生以及他们这个家族为废奴运动所做的努力。评论家、作家道恩·拉斐尔将《吉利德》列为其书单中的第一名,他这样评价:“所有在世作家中,罗宾逊在宗教信仰题材的创作上最为严谨、立意最为深刻。”《克利夫兰平原商报》前图书编辑、安斯菲尔德·沃尔夫图书奖现任负责人凯伦·R·朗也盛赞:“罗宾逊不仅是一个‘有想法’的作家,同时也是一个优秀的散文家,擅于描写家庭和社区私密空间中的重大问题。她非常擅长讲故事。这个故事涉及好几代人,反复灌输一种卓然超越的信仰,为21世纪的精神生活提供了一个范本——这本身就是一个奇迹。《吉利德》将是百年不朽的著作。”(Picador出版社)

5. Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (2001)
乔纳森·弗兰岑,《纠正》(2001年)

Franzen's edgy multigenerational family saga, winner of a US National Book Award, was among the first novels to capture the zeitgeist of the century's first decade. As Alfred and Enid Lambert and their three adult children gather at the end of the 20th Century for "one last Christmas", the father's Parkinson's disease progresses, and the US is on the verge of economic meltdown. "The Correction, when it finally came, was not an overnight bursting of a bubble but a much more gentle let-down, a year-long leakage of value from key financial markets," writes Franzen. "Franzen secured his place as a major American writer." Laurie Hertzel, senior books editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune adds, "This big, sprawling, fat novel touches on some of the most important themes of the early years of this millennium – economic uncertainty, the conflicts between parents and their drifting middle-aged children and the enormous issues of an aging society past its prime. He does it with great storytelling and a lot of humour." (Picador)
这本小说荣获美国国家图书奖,讲述了一个尖锐的几世同堂的家庭故事,成为首批紧随21世纪最初10年时代精神的小说之一。20世纪末,阿尔弗雷德、伊妮德·兰伯特同三个已成年的孩子齐聚一堂,一起庆祝可能是最后一个阖家团圆的圣诞节。此时,父亲阿尔弗雷德的帕金森综合征更加严重了,而美国也正处于经济危机的边缘。弗兰岑写道:“《纠正》不是指主要金融市场一夜之间突然发生泡沫破灭,而是更温和的衰退,持续一年的价值漏损。” 《明尼阿波利斯星坛报》资深图书编辑劳里·赫茨尔评论道:“弗兰岑再次证明了其作为美国重要作家的实力。这本小说布景广阔,触及了新千年早期最重要的一些主题——经济动荡、父母和漂泊不定的中年儿女之间的冲突,以及黄金时代过去后老龄化社会之中的诸多问题。弗兰岑用幽默的笔法写了一个好故事。” (Picador出版社)

6. Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)
迈克尔·夏邦,《卡瓦利尔和克雷的神奇冒险》 (2000年)

Joe Kavalier, a Houdini-like escape artist, smuggles himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939 and ends up in New York City. With his Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay he invents a superhero character called the Escapist and launches the golden age of comic books. "Chabon's capacious, propulsive and many-storied novel is exquisitely written, emotionally rich and historically and morally profound," says Booklist senior editor Donna Seaman, who made the Pulitzer Prize winner her number-one choice. "It can also be seen as a bridge between the 20th and 21st centuries in its perspective on WWII and the birth of comic-book superheroes as a new. Chabon's novel has greatly influenced other outstanding works of 21st Century fiction. But The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is also a timeless inquiry into our tragic proclivity for hate and war, our abiding need for stories and our persistent longing for magical powers and transcendence." (Random House)
乔·卡瓦利尔是一位艺术家,1939年,他奇迹般地从布拉格的纳粹集中营逃脱,最终抵达纽约。卡瓦利尔和住在布鲁克林的表兄弟萨米·克雷联手设计了一个叫“逃脱侠”的超级英雄,由此开启了漫画书的黄金时代。这本书曾荣获普利策奖,《书目杂志》资深编辑多纳·西曼将这本书列为他的书单的第一位,“夏邦采用了宽广博大、层层推进的创作手法,写法上精巧,情感上丰沛,历史和道德意义深远。二战期间诞生了超级英雄漫画,这本小说从这个角度搭建起了20世纪和21世纪的桥梁,并极大地影响了21世纪其他的优秀作品。但《卡瓦利尔和克雷的神奇冒险》也提出了一个永恒的疑问,关于仇恨和战争的悲剧性、人类对传奇故事持久不竭的需求,对神奇力量、超脱存在的持久不变的渴望。”(Random House出版社)


7. Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)
詹妮弗·伊根,《恶棍来访》(2010年)

Egan's Proustian meditation on time, fame and music won the National Book Critics Circle and Pulitzer awards. Who's the goon of the title? "Time is the stealth goon, the one you ignore because you are so busy worrying about the goons right in front of you," she says. Egan concocts her narrative around punk rocker-turned-music producer Bennie Salazar, his sticky-fingered assistant Sasha and a circle of wannabes, has-beens and hangers-on. Colette Bancroft, book editor of The Tampa Bay Times, named Egan's novel her top pick "not just because it is a splendidly written experiment in form that succeeds resoundingly, but because the 21st Century is its essential subject matter. Egan juxtaposes timeless literary themes, most notably the inexorable journey from youth to age, with an exploration of the ways in which a rapidly changing world reshapes the human experience. It's a novel that is prescient, surprising, wise and simply a blast to read." (Anchor)
伊根对时间、声誉和音乐进行的普鲁斯特式思考成就了此书,并因此荣获美国国家书评人奖和普利策奖。那标题中的恶棍是谁呢?“时间是最大的恶棍。人们总是因为忙于担忧眼前的‘恶棍’而忽略了时间这个隐藏的恶棍。”作者讲述了一些列故事:曾经的朋克摇滚歌手、现在的音乐制作人——本尼·萨拉查,有盗窃癖的女助手萨莎,以及一群想成名的人、曾经成名的人和无处不在的疯狂的粉丝。《塔帕湾时报》的图书编辑科莱特班·克罗夫特在他的书单中将《恶棍来访》列为第一位,“不仅仅因为这本小说的写作手法颇具实验性且异常成功,更因为此书的基本主题是21世纪。伊根将永恒的文学主题——不可阻挡的韶华易逝,以及如何在急速变化的世界中改变自己适应社会并列起来,给读者带去了睿智的、有先见之明的,但又惊奇简单的阅读体验。”(Anchor出版社)

8. Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012)
本·芳汀《比利·林恩漫长的中场休息》,(2012年)

Eight rookies from the US army's Bravo squad, fresh from a firefight with Iraqi insurgents, in which one of their fellow soldiers died and another was disabled, are dubbed war heroes by the Fox News cable channel. Their two-week stateside victory tour ends with a halftime salute at a Dallas Cowboys game. Fountain captures the excesses of Texas, American football, business and war, and gives us a memorable narrator in 19-year-old Billy Lynn, with his combination of lust, bedazzlement and post-traumatic stress disorder. "It is sort of weird," he tells a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, "being honoured for the worst day of your life." (Ecco)
在与伊拉克反叛分子交火中,美军一个突击小队的一名士兵牺牲,一名受伤,幸存者中的八名士兵却因为福克斯电视台的宣传而成为国家英雄。他们回到美国本土,进行为期两周的“胜利展演”,最后一站是在达拉斯牛仔队橄榄球比赛的中场进行亮相。芳汀用19岁少年比利·林恩的口吻讲述了这个令人难忘的故事,他的渴望、他的困惑迷茫和他的创伤后应激障碍交织在一起,融合进了无节制发展的德州、橄榄球、商业和战争里面。比利告诉达拉斯牛仔队拉拉队队长:“在你最糟糕的一天获得荣誉,真是疯了!”

9. Ian McEwan, Atonement (2001)
伊恩·麦克尤恩《赎罪》,(2001年)

The novel opens on a summer day in 1935, when 13-year-old Briony shows her mother a play she's written to perform with her three cousins the next evening. "Briony was hardly to know it then, but this was the project's highest point of fulfillment," McEwan writes. "Nothing came near it for satisfaction, all else was dreams and frustration."That evening, Briony witnesses her 15-year-old cousin Lola being assaulted in the darkened woods. Her testimony implicates Robbie, her sister Cecilia's boyfriend from Cambridge and son of the family house maid, and he is jailed. In a second section, McEwan gives a panoramic account of the harrowing evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, with Robbie among those saved. Realising she has ruined Cecilia and Robbie's lives, Briony works as a nurse during the Blitz in a third section. As McEwan follows these characters through six decades, Briony's search for redemption evolves into a meditation on the power of art. (Anchor)
这部小说以1935年的一个夏日开篇,13岁的女孩布里奥妮在向她的母亲展示她刚完成的剧本,并准备在第二天晚上和她的三个表姐一起表演。“布里奥妮当时还不知道,这已经是她的这个剧本最成功的时刻了!其他的设想都只是些白日梦,不能为她带来任何满足,甚至会让她尝到沮丧的滋味。”当天晚上,布里奥妮15岁的表姐洛拉遭强暴,布里奥妮在黑暗的树林中看到了凶手。布里奥妮出庭指证罪犯就是家庭女仆的儿子罗比,罗比来自剑桥,也是布里奥妮姐姐塞西莉亚的男朋友,罗比被捕入狱。在书的第二部分,麦克尤恩对敦刻尔克大撤退的颓败进行了全景描述,罗比就是其中的幸存者。在第三部分,布里奥妮认识到自己的误解毁了塞西莉亚和罗比的一生,渴望赎罪的她成为闪电战期间的一名医护人员。整本书跨越60年时间,一生忏悔的布里奥妮最后将情感注入笔下成就了其艺术之魂。(Anchor出版社)

*注:闪电战(Blitz),1940年到1941年德军对英国各主要城市的“大空袭”,即“不列颠空战”。为实施入侵英国的“海狮”计划,德国空军对伦敦实施了近10个月的毁灭性大轰炸。英国得到英联邦成员、其他被占欧洲国家和中立国美国的空军帮助,战争在1941年10月12日以德国的失败告终。

10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)
奇麻曼达·恩格兹·阿迪切,《半轮黄日》(2006年)

In her audacious and vividly imagined second novel, Adichie drew upon her ancestral past to write about the Biafra conflict, which traumatised her country and her family for three years after the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria seceded in 1967. The novel is told from the perspectives of twin sisters Olanna and Kainene, a 13-year-old houseboy and Richard, a British expatriate who is in love with Kainene. Olanna's academic boyfriend, who favours secession, is also a key character as Adichie shows the repercussions of postcolonial power struggles on individual lives. Adichie’s 2013 novel Americanah also ranked high in the poll, but missed out on a spot in the top 12 by one vote. (Anchor)
阿迪切利用大胆生动的想象,追忆先祖故事,创作了她的第二部作品,内容与比夫拉战争有关。1967年,伊博人占多数的尼日利亚东区脱离联邦,引发三年内战,摧毁了尼日利亚这个国家,也给尼日利亚人民带来了深重苦难。小说的主人公是双胞胎姐妹奥兰娜和凯楠,以及一个13岁的男仆和喜爱凯楠的英国侨民理查德。奥兰娜的男友也是一个关键人物,他是大学学者,支持东区独立。作者通过这些人物形象,向读者展示了后殖民时代国家权力斗争对个人的影响。阿迪切2013年出版的小说《美国史迹》在调查中同样广受推崇,但因一票之差错失了12强。(Anchor出版社)

11. Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)
査蒂·史密斯《白牙》(2000年)

Smith, then a 23-year-old prodigy, wowed the literary world with her first novel, which introduced a writer of inimitable wit and scope. White Teeth, which won Whitbread and Guardian first book awards, is set in London, where Archie Jones and Samal Iqbal, friends who met while serving in WWII, have settled to raise their families. Smith opens as Archie, divorced by his second wife, sits in his "fume-filled Cavalier Musketeer Estate face down on the steering wheel". He's chosen suicide on New Year's Day 1975, his car parked in front of a halal butcher's shop, only to be saved by the owner. As White Teeth unfolds, it is chockablock with vivid scenes and characters, a portrait of postcolonial multicultural London: "Children with first and last names on a direct collision course. Names that secrete within them mass exodus, cramped boats and planes, cold arrivals, medical checks", Smith writes. (Vintage)
史密斯在23岁时就凭借处女作《白牙》中独特的智慧和视角而震惊文坛,荣获当年的惠布瑞特最佳处女作奖和《卫报》最佳处女作奖。《白牙》的故事背景是伦敦,讲述的是二战战友阿吉·琼斯和萨马·伊克巴尔两个家庭的悲欢离合。《白牙》以阿吉结束第二次婚姻开头,1975年的元旦,“他坐在充满浓烟的骑士火枪手牌旅行车里,脸朝下,趴在方向盘上”。他将车停靠在一家清真肉铺的门口,做好了自杀的准备,最后被屠夫救下了。随着故事展开,作者给我们呈现了后殖民时代多元文化并存的伦敦生活,刻画了生动的人物形象。史密斯写道:“孩子们的姓名就是文化碰撞的直接展示,隐含了大迁徙、拥挤的飞机船只、寒冷中抵达和医疗检查等意思。”(Vintage出版社)

12. Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002)
杰弗里·尤金尼德斯,《中性》(2002年)

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974," Eugenides writes in the opening lines of his novel. At 14, Calliope Stephanides discovers she has a rare recessive mutation that renders her a pseudo-hermaphrodite. Claiming her "male brain", she shifts genders and becomes Cal. In often exuberant language, Eugenides layers questions of fate and free will onto Cal's coming-of-age story and the tale of the entrepreneurial rise of his parents, Desdemona and Lefty. (They have their own genetic secret.) Ultimately Cal’s condition gives him a near mythic gift – “the ability to communicate between the genders, to see not with the monovision of one sex but in the stereoscope of both". Middlesex bridged the gap between critical and commercial acclaim, as well, winning a Pulitzer and selling millions of copies. (Picador)
作者这样开篇:“我拥有两次生命:第一次是1960年1月,一个晴朗无雾的日子作为一个女婴出生在底特律;第二次是1974年8月在密歇根佩托斯基的一个急诊室里作为一个男孩重生。 ”14岁的卡莉欧碧·斯迪芬奈兹患上了罕见的基因隐性突变,使她成为了一名阴阳人。卡莉欧碧考虑到自己的男性本性,她变性成了卡尔。尤金尼德斯用意趣盎然的语言讲述了卡尔的成长故事,以及卡尔父母列夫提和苔丝狄蒙娜的创业经历(他们也有自己不为人知的基因缺陷)。最终,卡尔的基因问题却让他拥有了一项神奇的能力——“他能自由地游走在两性世界之间,从双性的立体角度思考问题而不仅仅站在单性的角度”。《中性》不仅荣获了普利策奖,而且销量百万,在文学成就和商业成就上都表现地很突出。


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