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Jean Echenoz: Running

I enjoyed Echenoz’s Lightning so much that I immediately read the other two books in his trilogy of fictionalized biographies.  Running (Courir, 2008; tr. from the French by Linda Coverdale, 2009), the second Echenoz wrote, is the only one about someone I knew nothing about, though that’s probably more my own ignorance at fault.  Do you know who…

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César Aira: The Seamstress and the Wind

Each time a New Directions catalog comes in the mail, the first thing I look for is a new title by César Aira, so much have I loved what I’ve read by him.  Thankfully, it seems New Directions is not slowing down their Aira releases, and we can now read the bizare The Seamstress and the Wind (La…

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Julian Barnes: “Homage to Hemingway”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Julian Barnes’ “Homage to Hemingway” was originally published in the July 4, 2011 issue of The New Yorker. This is a three-part story.  The first section is called…

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László Krasznahorkai: Animalinside

When Animalinside (2010; tr. from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet, 2010) arrived in the mail, I didn’t know what to make of it.  It’s a beautiful book, even though it’s staple-bound (this was published by New Directions in collaboration with Sylph Editions for Sylph Editions Cahier Series — see an…

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Jean Echenoz: Lightning

I’ve had my eyes on Jean Echenoz since his book Ravel was a finalist for the IMPAC a couple of years ago.  That books, it turns out, was the beginning of a type of trilogy of fictionalized biographies of, respectively, Maurice Ravel, Emil Zátopek, and Nikola Tesla.  Lightning (Des éclairs, 2010; tr. from the French by…

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Alice Munro: “Gravel”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage.  Alice Munro’s “Gravel” was originally published in the June 27, 2011 issue of The New Yorker. It’s always a good way to start the week: a new story by Alice Munro, who obviously hasn’t slowed down much. …

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Ann Patchett: State of Wonder

I read and enjoyed Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars, but in neither case did I fall in love and feel I needed to read more of her work.  For whatever reason, I’ve passed on her other books and skipped Run when it came out a few years ago.  In…

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Lauren Groff: “Above and Below”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this story is available only for subscribers).  Lauren Groff’s “Above and Below” was originally published in The New Yorker‘s June 13 & 20, 2011, issue. Lauren Groff is certainly the least known author of this issue’s pieces of…

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International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Winner

After winning the National Book Award in 2009, Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin has now won the IMPAC (see the announcement on the IMPAC website here). I have this book on hand, but I haven’t been compelled to read it quite yet.  Perhaps this will do the trick.

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Jeffrey Eugenides: “Asleep in the Lord”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this story is available only for subscribers).  Jeffrey Eugenides’s “Asleep in the Lord” was originally published in The New Yorker‘s June 13 & 20, 2011, issue. I was thrilled to see that this fiction issue featured a new…

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Joseph Roth: The Leviathan

I am thrilled to post about another book in New Direction’s Pearl series, now nine books strong with another two due out later this year (Nikolai Gogol’s The Night Before Christmas and Victor Pelevin’s The Hall of the Singing Caryatids).  The most recent addition is Joseph Roth’s The Leviathan (Der Leviathan, 1934…

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2011 Orange Prize Winner

Congratulations to Téa Obreht whose debut novel The Tiger’s Wife won the Orange Prize today, making her the youngest winner in the prize’s history (she’s the 15th winner).  I didn’t particularly like the book as a whole, though I do think Obreht is a fine writer.  Certainly we’ll be hearing…

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George Saunders: “Home”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage.  George Saunders’ s “Home” was originally published in The New Yorker‘s June 13 & 20, 2011, issue. The summer fiction issue is here.  Unlike last year’s, which kicked off the “20 Under 40″ with an eight-story issue, here…

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Alistair MacLeod: No Great Mischief

Other than a Margaret Atwood here and there, and a few other names who came by way of the Booker Prize, I’m not sure I’d read much Canadian fiction before meeting Kevin from Canada.  But boy has it been great over the past few years to dig into that country’s…

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Tessa Hadley: “Clever Girl”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Tessa Hadley’s “Clever Girl” was originally published in The New Yorker‘s June 6, 2011, issue. You may have noticed that I’ve been silent for the past week for which I apologize. …