Recommended Books

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The Independent Culture
The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh, Secker & Warburg, pounds 8.99. Extraordinary novel about the Vietnam war. Review by Geoff Dyer, 29 January.

Round About a Pound a Week by Maud Pember Reeves, Virago, pounds 7.99. Gripping exploration of poverty in pre- war London. Review by Natasha Walter, 5 February.

Days of Anger by Sylvie Germain, tr Christine Donougher, Dedalus, pounds 8.99. Prizewinning French epic of love and death in le foret profonde. Review by Robert Winder, 14 January.

Georges Perec: A Life in Words by David Bellos, Harvill, pounds 35. Generous biography of the remarkable French novelist. Review by Hugo Barnacle, 11 December.