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《纽约时报》2019年度十大好书 The 10 Best Books of 2019

纽约时报 2019-12-09 13:08

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今年你的阅读计划都完成了吗?读过哪些让你深思的好书?近日,美国《纽约时报》评出2019年度十大好书,一起来看看哪些还没在你的书单里吧。

图片来源:纽约时报网站

Disappearing Earth

《消失的土地》

By Julia Phillips

茱莉亚·菲利普斯著

In the first chapter of this assured debut novel, two young girls vanish, sending shock waves through a town perched on the edge of the remote, brooding Kamchatka Peninsula. What follows is a novel of overlapping short stories about the various women who have been affected by their disappearance. Each richly textured tale pushes the narrative forward another month and exposes the ways in which the women of Kamchatka have been shattered — personally, culturally and emotionally — by the crime.

在这本自信的处女作小说第一章中,两个年轻的女孩消失了,给这个坐落在遥远且静谧的堪察加半岛边缘的小镇带来了巨大冲击。接下来的小说由一系列相互交叠的小故事组成,讲述了她们的失踪给许多女人造成的影响。每一个情节丰富的故事都将叙事向前推进一个月,揭示了堪察加的女人们如何在个人、文化和情感层面受到这起犯罪行为的打击。

perch [pɜːtʃ]:v.栖息;就位;位于

图片来源:纽约时报网站

The Topeka School

《托皮卡学校》

By Ben Lerner

本·勒纳著

Lerner’s exhilarating third novel, after “Leaving the Atocha Station” and “10:04,” rocks an emphatically American amplitude. Adam Gordon returns as the protagonist, but this time as a high school debate star, and mostly in the third person. Equal portions of the book are given over to the voices of his psychologist parents, and to a former classmate whose cognitive deficits are the inverse of Adam’s gifts. The earlier novels’ questions about art and authenticity persist; but Adam’s faithlessness is now stretched into a symptom of a national crisis of belief. Lerner’s own arsenal has always included a composer’s feel for orchestration, a ventriloquist’s vocal range and a fine ethnographic attunement.

这是勒纳令人振奋的第三部小说。继《离开阿托查车站》和《10:04》之后,本书展现了一种极为美国式的宽广。亚当·戈登再度成为主人公,但这次是作为高中辩论明星,而且主要是以第三人称出现。他的心理学家父母,以及一个有认知缺陷、和亚当的天赋形成鲜明对比的前同学,得到了同等的篇幅。勒纳早期小说对艺术和真伪的质疑依然存在;但是亚当的信仰缺失如今已经扩展成一个国家信仰危机的症状。一名作曲家对管弦乐编曲的感觉,一个腹语表演者的音域,以及一种细腻的民族和谐,一直都是勒纳所倚仗的。

amplitude [ˈæmplɪtjuːd]:n.丰富,充足;广阔

protagonist [prəˈtæɡənɪst]:n.主角,主演;主要人物

ventriloquist[venˈtrɪləkwɪst]:n.腹语术者;口技艺人

图片来源:纽约时报网站

Exhalation

《呼气》

By Ted Chiang

特德·姜著

Many of the nine deeply beautiful stories in this collection explore the material consequences of time travel. Reading them feels like sitting at dinner with a friend who explains scientific theory to you without an ounce of condescension. Each thoughtful, elegantly crafted story poses a philosophical question; Chiang curates all nine into a conversation that comes full circle, after having traversed remarkable terrain.

这本合集收录了九个美丽动人的短篇小说,其中好几篇都探讨了时间旅行的重大后果。阅读它们就像和一位朋友坐在一起吃饭,席间他向你解释科学理论,毫无居高临下之态。每一个深思熟虑、构思优雅的故事都提出了一个哲学问题;在经历了一段非凡的旅程后,特德·姜将这9则故事构织成了一场圆融的谈话。

condescension [ˌkɒndɪˈsenʃn]:n.傲慢态度

图片来源:纽约时报网站

Lost Children Archive

《失踪儿童档案》

By Valeria Luiselli

瓦莱丽娅·鲁塞利著

The Mexican author’s third novel — her first to be written in English — unfolds against a backdrop of crisis: of children crossing borders, facing death, being detained, being deported unaccompanied by their guardians. The novel centers on a couple and their two children (all unnamed), who are taking a road trip from New York City to the Mexican border; the couple’s marriage is on the brink of collapse as they pursue independent ethnographic research projects and the woman tries to help a Mexican immigrant find her daughters, who’ve gone missing in their attempt to cross the border behind her. The brilliance of Luiselli’s writing stirs rage and pity, but what might one do after reading such a novel? Acutely sensitive to these misgivings, Luiselli has delivered a madly allusive, self-reflexive, experimental book, one that is as much about storytellers and storytelling as it is about lost children.

这位墨西哥作家的第三部小说——也是她的第一部英文小说——以一场危机为背景展开:孩子们穿越边境,面临死亡,被拘禁,在没有监护人陪伴的情况下被驱逐出境。小说以一对夫妇和他们的两个孩子(都没有名字)为中心,他们正沿着从纽约市到墨西哥边境的公路旅行;在进行独立的人种学研究的同时,这对夫妇的婚姻正处于崩溃的边缘,女人试图帮助一名墨西哥移民找到她在试图越过边境时失踪的女儿。鲁塞利的写作才华引起了人们的愤怒和怜悯,但读了这样一部小说之后,人们会怎么做呢?鲁塞利对这些疑虑极为敏感,她带来了一本充满暗喻、自我反思与实验性的书,既是关于故事讲述者,也是关于失踪的儿童。

misgiving [ˌmɪsˈɡɪvɪŋ]:n.疑虑,担忧,不安

图片来源:纽约时报网站

Night Boat to Tangier

《开往丹吉尔的夜船》

By Kevin Barry

凯文·巴里著

A desolate ferry terminal on the Spanish coast isn’t a place where you’d expect to encounter sharp-edged lyricism or rueful philosophy, but thanks to the two Irish gangster antiheroes of Barry’s novel, there’s plenty of both on display, along with scabrously amusing tale-telling and much summoning of painful memories. Their lives have become so intertwined that the young woman whose arrival they await can qualify as family for either man. Will she show? How much do they care? Their banter is a shield against the dark, a witty new take on “Waiting for Godot.”

你不会想到在西班牙海岸一个荒凉的渡轮码头遭遇锐利的抒情文字或悲叹的哲学,但由于巴里的小说中有两个爱尔兰黑帮反英雄人物,两者都得到了不少展现,与此同时还讲述了粗俗有趣的故事,唤起许多痛苦的回忆。他们的生活已经变得如此紧密地交织在一起,以至于他们等待的年轻女子可以成为他们两人的家人。她会露面吗?他们真的很在意吗?他们的玩笑是抵御黑暗的盾牌,一部《等待戈多》的诙谐新版本。

图片来源:纽约时报网站

Say Nothing

《什么都不说》

By Patrick Radden Keefe

帕特里克·拉登·基夫著

Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book — as finely paced as a novel — Keefe uses McConville’s murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga.

1972年,蒙面者闯入38岁的寡妇、10个孩子的母亲珍·麦康维尔在贝尔法斯特的家中,将她拖了出来。在这本精心叙述的书中——步调精巧犹如小说——基夫以麦康维尔谋杀案为棱镜,讲述了北爱尔兰动乱的历史。他采访了冲突双方的人,把那个时代的悲剧性破坏和损耗变成了一个灼热的、扣人心弦的传奇故事。

图片来源:纽约时报网站

The Club

《俱乐部》

By Leo Damrosch

利奥·达姆罗施

The English painter Joshua Reynolds just wanted to cheer up his friend Samuel Johnson, who was feeling blue. Who knew that the Friday night gab sessions he proposed they convene at London’s Turk’s Head Tavern would end up attracting virtually all the leading lights of late-18th-century Britain? Damrosch brings the Club’s redoubtable personalities — the brilliant minds, the jousting wits, the tender camaraderie — to vivid life, delivering indelible portraits of Johnson and Reynolds, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, the actor David Garrick, the historian Edward Gibbon and, of course, Johnson’s loyal biographer James Boswell: “a constellation of talent that has rarely if ever been equaled.”

英国画家约书亚·雷诺兹只是想让他情绪低落的朋友塞缪尔·约翰逊高兴起来。谁知道他提议的周五晚上在伦敦土耳其人头酒馆举行的夜聊会,最终会吸引18世纪末英国几乎所有的领袖人物?达姆罗施将《俱乐部》里令人敬畏的个性——聪明的头脑、机智的口水战、温柔的友情——带到生动的生活中,呈现出一幅幅不可磨灭的肖像:约翰逊和雷诺兹、埃德蒙·伯克、亚当·斯密、演员大卫·加里克、历史学家爱德华·吉本,当然还有约翰逊忠诚的传记作者詹姆斯·鲍斯威尔:“一群很少甚至无人能及的天才”。

redoubtable [rɪˈdaʊtəbl]:adj.令人敬畏的

图片来源:纽约时报网站

The Yellow House

《黄房子》

By Sarah M. Broom

萨拉·M·布鲁姆著

In her extraordinary, engrossing debut, Broom pushes past the baseline expectations of memoir to create an entertaining and inventive amalgamation of literary forms. Part oral history, part urban history, part celebration of a bygone way of life, “The Yellow House” is a full indictment of the greed, discrimination, indifference and poor city planning that led her family’s home to be wiped off the map. Tracing the history of a single home in New Orleans East (an area “50 times the size of the French Quarter,”yet nowhere to be found on most tourist maps, comprising scraps of real estate whites have passed over), from the ’60s to Hurricane Katrina, this is an instantly essential text, examining the past, present and possible future of the city of New Orleans, and of America writ large.

在她非凡、引人入胜的处女作中,布鲁姆超越了对一本回忆录的基本期待,创造了一种娱乐和创造性相融合的文学形式。部分是口述历史,部分是城市历史,部分是对过去生活方式的赞美,《黄房子》是对贪婪、歧视、冷漠和糟糕的城市规划的全面控诉,正是这些导致她家的房子从地图上消失。追踪新奥尔良东部(一片“有法国区50倍大的区域”,大多数旅游地图上却无处可寻,其中有零星被白人忽略的房产)一个家庭的历史,从上世纪60年代到卡特里娜飓风,本书立刻成为了一部必读文本,审视着新奥尔良市乃至整个美国的过去、现在和未来。

writ large:显而易见的

图片来源:纽约时报网站

No Visible Bruises

《无可见挫伤》

By Rachel Louise Snyder

雷切尔·路易斯·斯奈德著

Snyder’s thoroughly reported book covers what the World Health Organization has called “a global health problem of epidemic proportions.” In America alone, more than half of all murdered women are killed by a current or former partner; domestic violence cuts across lines of class, religion and race. Snyder debunks pervasive myths (restraining orders are the answer, abusers never change) and writes movingly about the lives (and deaths) of people on both sides of the equation. She doesn’t give easy answers but presents a wealth of information that is its own form of hope.

斯奈德在书中详尽报道了世界卫生组织所称的“流行病式的全球健康问题”。仅在美国,半数以上被谋杀的女性是被现任或前任伴侣杀害的;家庭暴力不分阶级、宗教和种族。斯奈德揭露了普遍存在的迷思(限制令是答案,施虐者从不改变),并动情地描写了施暴者和受害者的生活(和死亡)。她没有给出简单的答案,而是提供了丰富的信息,这些信息本身就是一种希望。

debunk [diːˈbʌŋk]:vt.揭穿;拆穿…的假面具;暴露

图片来源:纽约时报网站

Midnight in Chernobyl

《切尔诺贝利的午夜》

By Adam Higginbotham

亚当·希金博特姆著

Higginbotham’s superb account of the April 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is one of those rare books about science and technology that read like a tension-filled thriller. Replete with vivid detail and sharply etched personalities, this narrative of astounding incompetence moves from mistake to mistake, miscalculation to miscalculation, as it builds to the inevitable, history-changing disaster.

希金博特姆对1986年4月切尔诺贝利核电站爆炸的精彩描述,属于那种读来像紧张冲突不断的惊悚小说的罕见科技图书。故事充满生动的细节和深入刻画的人物性格,从中可以看到令人震惊的无能,一个接一个的错误,一个接一个的误判,最终导致了不可避免的、改变历史的灾难。

etch[etʃ]:vt.蚀刻;鲜明地描述;铭记

 

来源:纽约时报

制作:Lauryn Stallings

翻译:晋其角

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