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Margaret Atwood: The Year of the Flood

Here is my first review as a member of this year’s Giller Prize Shadow Jury: The Year of the Flood (2009) (long listed for 2009 Giller Prize).  I’m excited to discuss this book!  However, because I don’t want that sentiment to mislead any Atwood lovers into reading a highly irreverent…

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W.G. Sebald: The Emigrants

Earlier this year I bought all of W.G. Sebald’s “fictions” and decided to read them in chronological order, starting with Vertigo.  I was incredibly affected by that book, where the narrator seemed capable of making the past tangible as he roamed paths where Stendhal, Cassanova, and Kafka wandered.  It was…

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Michael Crummey: Galore

Before the Giller Prize longlist was announced, KevinfromCanada rounded up some of the most likely picks for me to read.  Crummey was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2001 for River Thieves, and Galore (2009), his incorporation of modes familiar from Garcia Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude into the folklore of…

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2009 Giller Prize Longlist

Today the 2009 Giller Prize longlist was announced!  I’ll pass you on to KevinfromCanada, who has written up a bit about the prize, a bit about this longlist, and a bit about the Shadow Jury, of which I’m a part. But, here is the list itself: Margaret Atwood: The Year…

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Evelio Rosero: The Armies

I love it when I read two books that seem to be speaking to each other.  Badenheim 1939 dealt with a group of ordinary middle-class civilians who were forced to confront violence and death.  Now we in North America can read The Armies (Los Ejércitos, 2007; tr. from the Spanish by…

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Aharon Appelfeld: Badenheim 1939

If you, like me, suffer from extreme book lust, you might not want to read this post.  There’s fair warning.  I recently stumbled upon Godine, a Boston-based publisher.  They have a fantastic world literature series entitled Verba Mundi.  They got my attention when I saw that they were publishing a couple of…

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Henry James: The Coxon Fund

These little novellas, brought to us by Melville House, feel so nice in the hand, and it’s so fulfilling to read a good book in a sitting, that I’m hoping to keep expanding my collection and reviewing the classic and new works here.  In their latest batch of classic novellas,…

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2009 Man Booker Shortlist

A.S. Byatt: The Children’s Book J.M. Coetzee: Summertime Adam Foulds: The Quickening Maze Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall Simon Mawer: The Glass Room Sarah Waters: The Littler Stranger I have the Byatt and the Foulds, and I’ve just been waiting to get the Mawer and the Coetzee.  Have to say, I’m…

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Adolfo Bioy Casares: The Invention of Morel

A few weeks ago when I reviewed Spring Tides, the ever-perceptive John Self asked whether I had also read The Invention of Morel (La Invención de Morel, 1940; tr. from the Spanish by Ruth L.C. Simmons, 1964).  Though I couldn’t say there’s any thematic similarities, similar elements abound: an island with…

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Robert Walser: The Tanners

It’s a great time for English readers.  After years of neglect, Robert Walser’s novels have now all been translated into English, the last being his first : The Tanners (Der Geschwistern Tanner, 1907; tr. from the German by Susan Bernofsky, 2009 — click here for an interview with Susan Bernofsky by Jed Lipinski).  The others…