Reading translated books open doors to the rest of the world
An outspoken memoir of life under the Nazis written from a prison cell
I became so infuriated with Ben Lerner's debut novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, that on finishing it I decided to avoid male writers completely, and spent four months reading women.
Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!
Walter Benjamin's work for radio finds the German thinker in beguiling form
Wren, who was born on this day in 1632, is most famous for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London following the Great Fire of 1666
Norwegian ethnographer and explorer was born on this day in 1914
Google has celebrated the British chemist Dorothy Hodgkin with a Doodle on its homepage.
Richard Powers has written about classical music before (in The Time of Our Singing and The Gold Bug Variations) and about genetics (in Generosity, and Gold Bug again). Yet it would be rash to say that this new novel is his most complete exploration of those themes, if only because he will probably go ahead and write an even more complete one.
A resonant and timely 'procedural thriller' on a fictional invasion by North Korea
Simon Gough calls this book a "fragment of autobiography written in narrative form", by which I think he means it is, if not fictionalised, then perhaps novelised. In his foreword he apologises to anyone who may be hurt by the book, which is always a good sign.
The problem with State of the Nation novels is that, if you're going to be fair to all your characters and not just satirise them into the ground, and you're also hoping for a decent amount of dramatic intensity, then you're going to have a very delicate task in terms of making things happen.
It's a paradox of translated fiction that, the better the translation, the less foreign the book can feel. Settings aside, your Jo Nesbos and Roberto Bolaños sometimes read like they were written in English. Not so with Jean-Philippe Toussaint. His strange, spare novels are Gallic through and through, teasing in their philosophical play, and pointedly cavalier with regards to such solid Anglo-Saxon notions as plot and narrative point of view.
Holmes and Watson would be proud. Crime fiction is booming as never before - and with dozens of new titles translated into English for the first time, there’s a detective for every holiday destination. Jonathan Gibbs tracks down 80 of the best sleuths to escape with this summer....