There’s so much great, foreign literature out there that often gets ignored by newspaper reviewers and ends up in a far corner at the bookshop. We think translated books deserve better as these three recently published, fabulous and very different novels prove…
A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler: An absolutely perfect little story about Austrian ‘mountain goat’ Andreas Egger, a salt-of-the-earth type of character whose quiet, lonely alpine village life turns out surprisingly satisfactory. His contentedness is of the old-fashioned kind, derived from a closeness to nature, work and acceptance of one’s destiny. A lesson in living and a heart-warming (but far from syrupy!) read which fans of John William’s Stoner will love. (Read the full review on Bookstoker).
Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal: I was left speechless by this astounding novel, the story of a young man’s death and the dilemmas around organ donation. It reads like a thriller and had me pinned to the chair. Maylis de Kerangal fast-paced prose is intense and unusual, and, admittedly, took a few pages getting used to, but once you find the rhythm of her writing, you’ll be unable to stop. An absolute must-read! (Read the full review on Bookstoker).
The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine: If you’re at all disgusted by bodily fluids, don’t even think about reading this book. If you’re not, prepare yourself for a firework of a novel by a master storyteller set in a part of the world which I’m willing to bet you’ve never read anything about before. Kim Leine’s novel The Prophets of Eternal Fjord, set in Greenland during Danish rule, won the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2013 and is finally out in English. (Read the full review on Bookstoker).
And next on our reading list….
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (just out). An unexpected hospital visit from her estranged mother forces Lucy to confront her difficult upbringing. A meditation on a mother-daughter relationship from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Olive Kettridge.
What Belongs To You by Garth Greenwell (April). Can’t wait for this much-lauded debut novel about an American teacher living in Bulgaria and his relationship with a male prostitute. A story of destructive desire.