August by Romina Paula

Posted July 19, 2018 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Contemporary / 2 Comments

August by Romina PaulaTitle: August (Goodreads)
Author: Romina Paula
Translator: Jennifer Croft
Published: Feminist Press, 2009
Pages: 224
Genres: Contemporary
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindleWordery (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Twenty-one- year old Emilia travels home to rural Patagonia to scatter the ashes of her friend Andrea. Her death was a surreal experience from her new home in Buenos Aires. However returning home five years later is a confronting experience. Once back home Emilia finds herself face to face with her adolescence, as she immerses herself with her memories. August is a blend of the grief narrative mixed with a coming of age story.

What really stuck me with this novel is the way Romania Paula was able to capture that feeling of nostalgia, with the raw emotions of her grief. Blending the constant references to music and pop culture helped drive my own feeling of nostalgia. The angst of being home reminded me of my own younger days. Then there is that feeling of grief, a feeling I have not experienced with such intensity but felt real with a raw intensity. The combination of all these elements really brought this novel together perfectly.

It was a profoundly real experience and the combination of Romania Paula’s writing style and the translation by Jennifer Croft really helped to drive the reading experience. I have been impressed with the work being done by Croft, having recently translated Flights by Olga Tokarczuk from the Polish, which won this year’s Man Booker International Prize. It is at a point where I will pick up anything she translates in the future. Both Flights and August have been both great reading experiences for me, yet the styles are completely different.

It is hard to review a book like August. It is one of those books you need to experience. The novel was published by Feminist Press whose mission statement is to “advance women’s rights and amplify feminist perspectives”. My experience with Feminist Press has been a very positive experience and so much of their catalogue sounds great. With more of a focus on reading women in translations, I know that Feminist Press will provide some raw and gritty experiences. I do not want to say more about August, I just hope I have said enough to convince people to read it.

2 responses to “August by Romina Paula

  1. Agnese

    Your review definitely convinced me that I need to get to this one soon. Have you read any other books published by Feminist Press?

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