BOOKS / Recommended

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The Independent Culture
The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh, translated by Frank Palmos, Secker, pounds 8.99. Winner of the pounds 10,000 Independent Award for Foreign Fiction. A remarkable novel by a former North Vietnamese soldier.

One Art: Selected Letters of Elizabeth Bishop ed. Robert Giroux, Chatto, pounds 25. A moving selection of letters by one of America's finest poets. Review by Jamie McKendrick, 30 April.

The Bridge over the Drina by Ivo Andric, tr. Lovett F Edwards, Harvill pounds 8.99. A genuine modern classic: four centuries in the life of a bridge near Sarajevo. Review by Hugo Barnacle, 16 April.

Romans by Michael Sheridan, Weidenfeld, pounds 18.99. City memoir by this paper's former Rome correspondent. Not reviewed here, but applauded elsewhere as 'vivid . . . elegant . . . witty.'