《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读



《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

Following her 2016 debut, “Behold the Dreamers,” Mbue’s sweeping and quietly devastating second novel begins in 1980 in the fictional African village of Kosawa, where representatives from an American oil company have come to meet with the locals, whose children are dying because of the environmental havoc (fallow fields, poisoned water) wreaked by its drilling and pipelines. This decades-spanning fable of power and corruption turns out to be something much less clear-cut than the familiar David-and-Goliath tale of a sociopathic corporation and the lives it steamrolls. Through the eyes of Kosawa’s citizens young and old, Mbue constructs a nuanced exploration of self-interest, of what it means to want in the age of capitalism and colonialism — these machines of malicious, insatiable wanting.
2016年的处女作《看啊,追梦者(Behold the Dreamers)之后,马布气势磅礴而又令人隐隐悲伤的第二部小说始于1980年的虚构非洲村庄科萨瓦,一家美国石油公司的代表来到这里会见当地人,由于钻井和管道造成的环境破坏(休耕地、毒水),村里的孩子正在死去。这个关于权力与腐败的寓言故事跨度长达数十年,最终并不是我们熟悉的那种反社会大公司和被其掠夺的生命的大卫与歌利亚式故事。通过科萨瓦老少的眼睛,马布构建了一种细致入微的探索,关于利己主义,也关于在资本主义和殖民主义——这些恶毒的、无法满足的欲望机器——的时代,拥有渴望意味着什么。


behold及物动词,相当于look at, see看,看见。比如,They beheld a bright star shining in the sky. 他们看到了一颗明亮的星在天空中闪闪发光。


the environmental havoc 环境破坏havoc相当于destruction, damage等。记住两个关于它的词组,play havoc with,例:Continuing strikes are beginning to play havoc with the national economy.持续的罢工开始严重破坏国家经济。 以及wreck havoc on,比如,These insects can wreak havoc on crops.这些昆虫可严重危害农作物。


fallow休耕的;休闲的,比如,Farmers are now paid to let their land lie fallow.农民让土地休耕现在得到了回报。 


clear-cut 意思是definite and easy to see or identify明确的;明显的;易辨认的,比如,There is no clear-cut answer to this question. 对这个问题没有确切的答案。


sociopathic反社会的a person who has a mental illness and who behaves in an aggressive or dangerous way towards other people


streamroll 用压路机碾,粉碎,压倒;以不可抗拒之力前进


constructs a nuanced exploration of sth 细致入微地探索...


malicious意思是,having or showing hatred and a desire to harm sb or hurt their feelings 怀有恶意的;恶毒的 ,比如,malicious gossip / lies / rumours 恶毒的流言蜚语 / 谎言 / 谣言 &He took malicious pleasure in telling me what she had said. 幸灾乐祸地告诉我她说的那些话。 


insatiable表示always wanting more of sth; not able to be satisfied不知足的;无法满足的,比如,an insatiable appetite / curiosity / thirst 永不满足的食欲 / 好奇心 / 渴望。

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

In Kitamura’s fourth novel, an unnamed court translator in The Hague is tasked with intimately vanishing into the voices and stories of war criminals whom she alone can communicate with; falling meanwhile into a tumultuous entanglement with a man whose marriage may or may not be over for good. Kitamura’s sleek and spare prose elegantly breaks grammatical convention, mirroring the book’s concern with the bleeding lines between intimacies — especially between the sincere and the coercive. Like her previous novel, “A Separation,” “Intimacies” scrutinizes the knowability of those around us, not as an end in itself but as a lens on grand social issues from gentrification to colonialism to feminism. The path a life cuts through the world, this book seems to say, has its greatest significance in the effect it has on others.
在北村的第四部小说中,主角是一位未透露姓名的海牙法庭翻译,她的任务是密切关注战犯的声音和故事,只有她才能与他们交流;与此同时,她陷入了与一个男人的动荡纠葛之中,他的婚姻可能彻底结束,也可能不会结束。北村流畅、简洁的散文优雅地打破了语法惯例,反映了这本书对亲密关系之间痛苦边界的关注——尤其是真诚与强迫之间的边界。与她的上一部小说《分离》(A Separation)一样,《亲密》审视了身边人的可知性,这本身并不是目的,而是作为一个镜头,去观察从中产阶级化到殖民主义到女权主义等重大社会问题。这本书似乎在说,一个人的生命穿过这个世界的道路,其最大的意义在于对他人的影响。


tumultuous 表示骚乱的,动荡的A tumultuous event or period of time involves many exciting and confusing events or feelings.比如,the tumultuous changes in Eastern Europe...动荡不安的东欧剧变。It's been a tumultuous day at the international trade negotiations in Brussels. 那是布鲁塞尔国际贸易谈判中纷乱的一天。


for good相当于permanently永远地,永久,比如,This time she's leaving for good. 她这次走是再也不会回来了。 


spare熟词辟意,表示 a spare style of writing, painting etc is plain or basic and uses nothing unnecessary〔写作、绘画等风格〕简朴的,不加渲染的




gentrification: a gradual process in which an area in bad condition where poor people live is changed by people with more money coming to live there and improving it地区贵族化,旧区改造〔指破落的地区因为有富人迁来居住而改善了环境〕

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

“The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois,” the first novel by Jeffers, a celebrated poet, is many things at once: a moving coming-of-age saga, an examination of race and an excavation of American history. It cuts back and forth between the tale of Ailey Pearl Garfield, a Black girl growing up at the end of the 20th century, and the “songs” of her ancestors, Native Americans and enslaved African Americans who lived through the formation of the United States. As their stories converge, “Love Songs” creates an unforgettable portrait of Black life that reveals how the past still reverberates today.
备受赞誉的诗人杰弗斯的第一部小说《W·E·B··波依斯的情歌》(The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois)同时包含了许多内容:一个动人的成长传奇,对种族的审视,以及对美国历史的挖掘。它在20世纪末成长的黑人女孩艾莉·珀尔·加菲尔德的故事和她的祖先——生活在美国成型时期的原住民和被奴役的非裔美国人的歌曲之间来回切换。随着她们的故事交汇在一起,《情歌》(Love Songs)创造了一幅令人难忘的黑人生活画卷,揭示了过去的种种依然在今天回响。




sth be many things at once某物同时包含很多内容


reverberate有长久深刻的影响;产生广泛影响,比如,Repercussions of the case continue to reverberate through the financial world. 这件事持续影响着整个金融界。

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

Lockwood first found acclaim as a poet on the internet, with gloriously inventive and ribald verse — sexts elevated to virtuosity. In “Priestdaddy,” her indelible 2017 memoir about growing up in rectories across the Midwest presided over by her gun-loving, guitar-playing father, a Catholic priest, she called tweeting “an art form, like sculpture, or honking the national anthem under your armpit.” Here, in her first novel, she distills the pleasures and deprivations of life split between online and flesh-and-blood interactions, transfiguring the dissonance into art. The result is a book that reads like a prose poem, at once sublime, profane, intimate, philosophical, hilarious and, eventually, deeply moving.


ribaldreferring to sex in a rude but humorous way猥亵诙谐的


virtuositya very high degree of skill in performing or playing(表演或演奏方面的)高超技艺,精湛演技,比如,a performance of breathtaking virtuosity 技艺令人叫绝的演出。


indelible也是相当于permanent无法忘记的;不可磨灭的 ,比如,The experience made an indelible impression on me. 那次经历使我难以忘怀Her unhappy childhood left an indelible mark. 她不幸的童年留下了不可磨灭的痕迹。 


transfigure: to change the way someone or something looks, especially so that they become more beautiful使改观; 美化,比如,Her face was transfigured with joy.她高兴得容光焕发




profane世俗的profane love世俗的情爱。


hilariousextremely funny极其滑稽的,比如,a hilarious joke / story 令人捧腹的笑话 / 故事。 

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

Labatut expertly stitches together the stories of the 20th century’s greatest thinkers to explore both the ecstasy and agony of scientific breakthroughs: their immense gains for society as well as their steep human costs. His journey to the outermost edges of knowledge — guided by the mathematician Alexander Grothendieck, the physicist Werner Heisenberg and the chemist Fritz Haber, among others — offers glimpses of a universe with limitless potential underlying the observable world, a “dark nucleus at the heart of things” that some of its witnesses decide is better left alone. This extraordinary hybrid of fiction and nonfiction also provokes the frisson of an extended true-or-false test: The further we read, the blurrier the line gets between fact and fabulism.




stitches together the stories 拼接故事


steep熟词辟意,相当于expensive过高的;过分的;不合理的 ,比如,£2 for a cup of coffee seems a little steep to me. 一杯咖啡 2 英镑在我看来有点贵得离谱


frisson: a sudden feeling of excitement or fear〔突然的〕兴奋感; 恐惧; 震颤,比如,A frisson of alarm went through her.一阵恐慌传遍她全身。

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

Ditlevsen’s gorgeous memoirs, first published in Denmark in the 1960s and ’70s and collected here in a single volume, detail her hardscrabble upbringing, career path and merciless addictions: a powerful account of the struggle to reconcile art and life. She joined the working ranks at 14, became a renowned poet by her early 20s, and found herself, after two failed marriages, wedded to a psychopathic doctor and hopelessly dependent on opioids by her 30s. Yet for all the dramatic twists of her life, these books together project a stunning clarity, humor and candidness, casting light not just on the world’s harsh realities but on the inexplicable impulses of our secret selves.


hardscrabble: not having enough of the basic things you need to live艰难困苦的;贫困的;勉强维持,比如,hardscrabble life / upbringing 贫困的生活;艰苦的成长。


join the working ranks:工作。


project熟词辟意,意思是to present sb / sth / yourself to other people in a particular way, especially one that gives a good impression展现;表现;确立(好印象),例如,She projects an air of calm self-confidence. 表现出镇定自若的神态。He projected himself as a man worth listening to. 装成很有见地的样子。 

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

For this timely and thought-provoking book, Smith, a poet and journalist, toured sites key to the history of slavery and its present-day legacy, including Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello; Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary; and a Confederate cemetery. Interspersing interviews with the tourists, guides, activists and local historians he meets along the way with close readings of scholarship and poignant personal reflection, Smith holds up a mirror to America’s fraught relationship with its past, capturing a potent mixture of good intentions, earnest corrective, willful ignorance and blatant distortion.


poignant表示令人沉痛的;悲惨的;酸楚的 poignant image / moment / memory, etc. 悲惨的形象、时刻、回忆等 Her face was poignant reminder of the passing of time.她的容颜显示青春已逝,教人感伤 


blatant: done in an obvious and open way without caring if people are shocked明目张胆的;公然的,比如,It was a blatant lie. 那是个赤裸裸的谎言。 

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

To expand on her acclaimed 2013 series for The Times about Dasani Coates, a homeless New York schoolgirl, and her family, Elliott spent years following her subjects in their daily lives, through shelters, schools, courtrooms and welfare offices. The book she has produced — intimately reported, elegantly written and suffused with the fierce love and savvy observations of Dasani and her mother — is a searing account of one family’s struggle with poverty, homelessness and addiction in a city and country that have failed to address these issues with efficacy or compassion.


searing常用来形容文字或者话语猛烈批评的,比如,a searing attack on the government 对政府的猛烈抨击

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

This book weaves together history and memoir into a short volume that is insightful, touching and courageous. Exploring the racial and social complexities of Texas, her home state, Gordon-Reed asks readers to step back from the current heated debates and take a more nuanced look at history and the surprises it can offer. Such a perspective comes easy to her because she was a part of history — the first Black child to integrate her East Texas school. On several occasions, she found herself shunned by whites and Blacks alike, learning at an early age that breaking the color line can be threatening to both races.

《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读


《纽约时报》2021年度十大好书 | 双语阅读

It’s daring to undertake a new biography of Plath, whose life, and death by suicide at 30 in 1963, have been thoroughly picked over by scholars. Yet this meticulously researched and, at more than 1,000 pages, unexpectedly riveting portrait is a monumental achievement. Determined to rescue the poet from posthumous caricature as a doomed madwoman and “reposition her as one of the most important American writers of the 20th century,” Clark, a professor of poetry in England, delivers a transporting account of a rare literary talent and the familial and intellectual milieu that both thwarted and encouraged her, enlivened throughout by quotations from Plath’s letters, diaries, poetry and prose.


meticulous 细心的;小心翼翼的,比如,meticulous planning / records / research 周密的计划;详细的记录;一丝不苟的研究 &Their room had been prepared with meticulous care他们的房间是经过细心布置的 


riveting: so interesting or exciting that it holds your attention completely吸引人的;引人入胜的


posthumous: happening, done, published, etc. after a person has died死后发生(或做、出版等),比如,a posthumous award for bravery 死后荣膺的英勇奖。 


milieu相当于background,具体意思是the social environment that you live or work in社会环境;社会背景

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