Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting Ready for The Unit

It's time to start reading The Unit for our online reading group! Don't forget to post comments & questions either on the blog or on the abc book banter forums.

About the author & the translator:

Ninni Holmqvist was born in 1958 and lives in Skåne, Sweden. She made her debut in 1995 with the short story collection Suit [Kostym] and has published two further collections of short stories since then. She also works as a translator. The Unit marks Holmqvist's debut as a novelist.

Marlaine Delargy works as a translator and adult learning support tutor. She has translated novels by Åsa Larsson and Johan Theorin, among others, and serves on the editorial board of the Swedish Book Review. She lives in Shropshire, England.

Bookreporter has a brief interview with the author. I also found a Swedish interview with her that Google translate is mostly able to translate on a site called Författarcentrum Författarförmedlingen.

Some things to think about as you delve into your reading:

If any of you have read Margaret Atwood or Marge Piercy, does this book remind you of their works? Is Ninni Holmqvist a modern George Orwell or Aldous Huxley?

Has anyone read Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, which has a plot involving children raised to be organ donors?

Consider issues of translation as brought up in the Guardian article "Why translators deserve some credit".

We also found quite a lengthy study someone named Eric Repphun did called "Dysenchanted Worlds: Rationalisation, Dystopia, and Therapy Culture in Ninni Holmqvist’s The Unit" which might be of interest. We didn't want to read too closely, in case it contained spoilers, but it seems to compare Holmqvist & her novel with both other Scandinavian works & movies like Logan's Run & The Island.

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