What is it like to leave everything behind to start anew? What if life became so untenable that you had no choice but to depart for an uncertain future, because your home was ripped apart by war? And what if instead of refuge and security you found only moderate safety? Exit West imagines that world and does so in language that is hauntingly beautiful. The novel deftly describes the reality that drives forced migration, while not descending into cliché.
Viet Thanh Nguyen sees the American Dream as an insidious, supremely effective tool of colonization. The point seems inarguable; it feels unutterably sad.
Looking to understand a faith that has been shaped and transformed by tradition, cultural baggage, and power struggle, journalist Carla Power takes the challenge of reading the Quran with a muslim scholar living in England. In their journey, they debunk myths and find historical context for some of the most controversial verses found in the holy book.
Some of us felt something close to an existential emptiness after we finished watching The Wire’s finale. It was so rich and stimulating that it seemed almost impossible to find something slightly close to that level of entertainment.
People go to bars for different reasons: you have those who truly like bars. And you have those with other intentions in mind. The latter, by the way, are now better served by the online dating services that inundate the web these days. If you fall within the first category, there is no doubt this is your book. If you are kind of on the fence, this book may help dissipate your hesitations. But if you, sorry my friend, don’t feel particularly attached to bars, you’d probably be better off reading about the reproduction of mammals in the African savanna.
“I was raped when I was six years old. I got confined in a psychiatric hospital. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. I tried to commit suicide five times. I lost my child custody. But I am not going to talk about that. I am going to talk about music. Because Bach saved my life. And I love to be alive.”
Reading the recommendations of established authors lets you look into the mind of an artist in a unique way; you don’t just see how they love to create, but the creations of others that they admire.
On August 4, Haruki Murakami’s first two novels were released for the first time with a proper English translation. The novels, “Hear the Wind Sing” and “Pinball, 1973,” collected together under the title “Wind/Pinball”, were previously only available through roughly translated epub torrents. The books serve as a fantastic starting point for Murakami’s bibliography of weird, ephemeral fiction.
In Happiness for Beginners Katherine Center tackles the well-trod territory of a woman on the verge, but what matters is the telling and Center turns it into a fun, entertaining read that has a lot to say about our preconceived notions of others. And of ourselves.
In her sweepingly beautiful debut novel, Lahiri crafts and expansive portrait of what it is to struggle with and against the self and what it takes to make peace with the past.
I’ve always liked the idea of reading and getting lost in my own imagination, though there are few books that I have enjoyed reading for the genius intricacies of structure and allure to the aesthetic use of language. There is a delightful feeling to the way that Jeet Thayil has grabbed my short attention span and slowed down time to use Narcopolis to portray a beautifully broken India.
Nobody with a minimum amount of common sense would ever consider neither one of these books Ablutions (Patrick DeWitt, 2009) and Love Me Back (Merritt Tierce, 2014) as inspirational. On the other hand, what anybody can easily see is that when it comes to writing fiction, these two know pretty damn well what they are doing. In fact, it is really hard to believe that we are talking about a couple of debut novels.
Once upon a time in Texas, there was a man perturbed, even aghast, by the rarity of contemporary translations of literature in this country. Thus was born Deep Vellum Publishing. Deep Vellum, based in Dallas, released its first title last December. Woo hoo! Congratulations all around. And what a debut it is: “Texas: the Great Theft” by Carmen Boullosa, translated from the Spanish by Texan Samantha Schnee of Words Without Borders fame. Her translation from the Spanish is inspired: chatty, cleverly colloquial and full of energy.
Here at The Wild Detectives, we usually talk about authors that have been published in English. Let’s honour our selection of Literature written in Spanish for a change by reviewing “Ya sólo habla de amor” (He Just Speaks About Love Now) from Spanish author Ray Loriga.
John Williams, an English Academic at the University of Denver, wrote “Stoner” in 1963. In a conversation with his agent in which she gave him little hope of commercial success, the author answered her with this words: “The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s a good novel; in time it may even be thought of as a substantially good one.” Time proved him right.
Dallas blogger Cinthya Salinas and first WD’ collaborator reviews García Márquez’s “Clandestine in Chile”, a report of Miguel Littín’s dangerous sneaking back into Pinochet’s Chile after the 1973 military coup. If you like what you see and you also want to collaborate with us, reach out and we’ll arrange something.
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