A modern translation from Catalan of Tirant Lo Blanc by Joanot Martorell in 1468 was reviewed by NYTimes in the early 1980's and quickly died away. This is definitely not for the casual reader. I found it most interesting because it was foreign to me in so many different ways (subject, surroundings, pace, style). I confess that I did not actually finish it but now I think I will.
Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals is by no means obscure in the U.K. but it sure is here, or it was when I was trying to find a copy ten years ago when recommended to me by a Brit friend. I had a Dickens of a time finding it. Well worth it, though. An absolutely hilarious tale of the nature-curious author living on Corfu with his mother and siblings. He was certainly surrounded by wildlife.