Lila by Marilynne Robinson This isn’t my favorite Marilynne Robinson book by a long shot, but even not-the-best Marilynne Robinson is waaaayy ahead of most books out there.
Red or Dead by David Peace Very few books make me want to stand up and yell and start building shit. This is one of them.
The Art of Flight by Sergio Pitol Not actually published yet (March 2015), I read this book while editing the translation. It is mostly awesome and makes me realize how badly the English language has missed Sergio Pitol.
Suspended Sentences . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The NYRB should really get this guy to review Jonathan Franzen’s Purity.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North has the scope of a big and ambitious novel. It was surely a difficult book to write, covering so much in terms of time, geography, cultures, destinies and outcomes: both an important but difficult piece of Australian history (brave, but also inglorious), and a fictional account, to boot, of the experience of Flanagan’s father, who, as one read in the press, died on the very day the book was completed. (It is said there is nothing of which . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Just published by Text Publishing.
J.M. Coetzee swims strongly against the ebbing tide. Not only has Text Publishing brought out his new collection, it is an expensively produced hardback in pale blue with elegant gilt lettering. That is unusual enough, but more extraordinarily there are only three stories, none of them lengthy – the book totals 71 pages, with a large, generously laid-out typeface. All were written between 2000 and 2003, the most recent being a tale he read aloud at the ceremony when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
In the TLS, Lauren Elkin reviews Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere, aka Geroges Perec’s lost first novel.
In 1966, after the success of his first novel Les Choses: Une histoire des années soixante, which won him the Prix Renaudot as well as the critical respect he craved, Georges Perec was finally in a position to leave his small apartment of 35 square metres and move to a larger one. He carefully packed up his manuscripts into a box, including Le Condottiere, his previous “first novel”, which Gallimard bought in 1959 and then . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I’m surprised to learn Andres Newman is so young. Also, great overview of his books in English.
Andrés Neuman is unthreatened by borders. If writers are born in response to trauma, then Neuman, the writer, emerged when his family fled Argentina for Granada when he was fourteen, in 1991. Eight years later, his first novel, Bariloche, was awarded first runner up for the Herralde Prize. Roberto Bolaño immediately read it and set down the words that still grace the back covers of all Neuman’s books: “The literature of the twenty-first century would belong to Andrés Neuman and . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The Complete Review has the details of the future Englishing of our most recent Nobel laureate.
And also, sales figures. For whatever reason, Modiano has proven one of the more commercially viable Laureates of the recent past:
One of his most famous works, Missing Person, which is published by David R. Godine, had sold just 2,031 copies before the prize was announced in October, and has since sold more than 13,600 copies. Yale University Press has sold more than 30,000 copies of Suspended Sentences, a collection of three novellas by Mr. Modiano that was published last . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Rivka Galchen on the new Kafka bio by Reiner Stach.
I have come to the conclusion that anyone who thinks about Kafka for long enough inevitably develops a few singular, unassimilable and slightly silly convictions. (The graph may be parabolic, with the highest incidence of convictions – and the legal resonance is invited – found among those who have spent the most time thinking and those who have spent next to no time thinking.) My own such amateur conviction is that the life of Franz Kafka reads like a truly great comedy. I mean this (of course) . . . continue reading, and add your comments
My review of Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano.
The most focused of the book’s three diffuse novellas is “Afterimage.” Here, the narrator merely wants to “relate the little I know” about the photographer Francis Jansen, whom he befriended 30 years ago in the 1960s. Almost immediately we are confronted with an enormous question: Friends with Robert Capa and a Parisian street photographer for Magnum, Jansen suddenly leaves everything behind for a reclusive life in Mexico. In vignettes rarely more than a couple of pages long, the narrator pores over every moment of their relationship like a . . . continue reading, and add your comments
At the NY TImes. I’m currently reading Book 1.
Q. You insist on anonymity and yet are developing a cult following, especially among women, first in Italy and now in the United States and beyond. How do you feel about the reception of your books in the United States in recent years, and your growing readership, especially after James Wood’s review in The New Yorker in January 2013?
A. I appreciated James Wood’s review very much. The critical attention that he dedicated to my books not only helped them find readers but in a way it . . . continue reading, and add your comments