Tag Archives: Alison Entrekin

Odyssey – the Aarhus 39

We have a lot in common. But also, we don’t. That’s no bad thing, though.

Daniel Hahn has edited this collection of translated short stories. I think there are 21 in this, the older, group of stories of journeys from around Europe. If the list of names looks longer than 21, that is because the stories have both illustrators and translators as well as authors. So it’s been a big job to do, this collaboration with the Hay Festival in Aarhus. The Aarhus 39 stands for all the authors involved, as there is a collection for younger readers as well. (And personally I’d prefer to write Århus, but I can’t have everything.)

Odyssey - Aarhus 39

Anyway, this is very interesting. Daniel points out how similar [young] people are, wherever they come from. I agree, but it’s also obvious that we are different. Equal in worth and importance, but a little bit just ourselves.

Another thing about all the languages the stories were written in. You look at the name of the author and you think you know what language they use. But you could be wrong. So many seem to have made a journey or two themselves, and their stories are in a new language. This is fascinating and points to a new kind of Europe.

The Nordic short stories seem to be more into drugs, bullying and illegal behaviour. Further south it is more weird and entertaining. But none of that matters; they are stories about being young, and the journeys are either actual journeys, or about someone learning something about themselves.

I can’t possibly describe them, either their contents or the style. There are too many and they are too varied. The stories are short (yes, that is what a short story is), and mostly easy to read, and interestingly illustrated. They make you think.

If I were to criticise anything, it’s the size of the font. It is too small. And the very worthwhile list of all the contributors at the back; well that font is even smaller and made my eyes ache. But this is such a good idea, and we want more of it.

Just in bigger print.

On withered carrots

Can you just imagine the sadness of writing a story with the title The Withered Carrot? No?

Well, our next Easter rabbit has done just that. Poor little Fuzz McFlops is a famous rabbit-writer, but he is rather depressed, so mainly produces sad stuff. One of his ears is shorter than the other and it has always caused him much anguish.

But all of a sudden he gets fan mail from someone who claims to both like what he writes, and who comes up with suggestions for improving the writing as well, which makes Fuzz very angry. And then – partly because this makes his short ear feels funny – he thinks that maybe there is something in these letters after all.

Eva Furnari, Fuzz McFlops

Romance, dear reader. After some correspondence, Fuzz meets up with his fan Charlotte. She’s very nice, and not at all beautiful.

And you know, there is love, and no more withered carrots. Very sweet.

(Translated from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin. We may not have heard of Eva Furnari before, but she’s big in Brazil.)