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Archives for February 2008

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2008 – Shortlist

It’s been just over a month now and the judges have obviously read much more of the longlisted titles than me, who seemed more interested in reading everything else rather than those suggested. But I did get through three of… continue reading »

Kurt Vonnegut: A Man Without A Country

It’s a mistake to subtitle Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man Without A Country (2005) with “a memoir of life in George W. Bush’s America” since a) it’s not much of a memoir; and b) its range is wider. What it is,… continue reading »

Hjalmar Söderberg: Doctor Glas

“Life, I do not understand you”, writes Doctor Tyko Gabriel Glas in his diary as events draw to a close in Hjalmar Söderberg’s classic eponymous novel, Doctor Glas (1905), and it sums up all of his frustrations at his understanding… continue reading »

Clarice Lispector: The Hour Of The Star

Following on from a recent post by dovegreyreader, I spotted a copy of Clarice Lispector’s The Hour Of The Star (1977) in Waterstones, knew I recognised the name from somewhere, and picked it up. Of course, The Hour Of The… continue reading »

Hitomi Kanehara: Snakes & Earrings

It’s a little early to be calling, as the cover boldly declares, Snakes & Earrings (2004) by Hitomi Kanehara a “cult classic”, but within its pages there’s enough to warrant it, one day, being recognised as such. It already has… continue reading »

Bi Feiyu: The Moon Opera

In a world where the arts would appear to be in terminal decline, or at least in a depression, it’s somewhat reassuring – though devastating – to discover that it’s not purely a western phenomenon. In Bi Feiyu’s The Moon… continue reading »

Andrey Kurkov: A Matter Of Death And Life

There is nothing original in the idea of what a person would do if they learned the scope of their finite lives. Invariably they make lists of things they haven’t seen, things they haven’t done, people to say their farewells… continue reading »

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