Monday, August 04, 2014

Reader's Diary #1147- Yanka Bryl, translated by Davis Skivrsky: The Girl with Black Eyebrows


Continuing once again with my slow trek around the world through literature, this week takes me to Belarus and Yanka (aka Janka) Bryl's "The Girl with Black Eyebrows."

It's an awkward tale and once again I'm left wondering if it's a translation thing, a cultural thing, or intentional. It's not without its charm; I quite enjoyed the voice of the narrator. The way he brags about his town— the pine trees! the girls!— in that non-conceited way that expects to win you over with sheer enthusiasm, gave the story a very personal feel, like I was one of his comrades. 

His story about a competition between teams of men and women lumberjacks, and the narrator falling for the female's teams leader, was interesting, amusing at times, but it took me several attempts to figure out some rather awkward phrases and odd word choices that it dampened my overall enjoyment.

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