Your suggestions, please: world literature

  1. I’ve made a mid-year resolution to read more works in translation and other world literature. I do read some currently, but it’s something I want to explore much further. I asked on Twitter for suggestions of what to read:
  2. I’m making a mid-year resolution to read more world lit. Can I have your suggestions of essential books, please?
  3. @David_Heb Punti lost luggage Longo ten Różewicz mother departs Topol the devils workshop, Jean-Claude izzo
  4. @David_Heb @stujallen anything by Andrei Makine…outstanding literature.
  5. @David_Heb I was very impressed by Nervous Conditions by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangaremba –…
  6. @David_Heb Have you read ‘Traveller of the Century’ by Andres Neuman? Absolutely loved that one. @stujallen
  7. @David_Heb @stujallen Antal Szerb, Journey By Moonlight , 20th century Hungarian modernist classic
  8. @lx69 @David_Heb Zambra ways of going home and sidewalks Luiselli I’ve enjoyed as well this year
  9. @David_Heb Faces in the Crowd – Valeria Luiselli
  10. @David_Heb Hmm. 140 characters ain’t going to cut it… Just try my blog instead 😉
  11. @David_Heb The Tale of Genji. First long-form novel as we know it by a lady-in-waiting in 11th century Japan.
  12. @David_Heb Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, some Roberto Bolano and some Angelica Gorodischer.
  13. @David_Heb To the End of the Land by David Grossman (Israel),
    Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos (Mexico)…
  14. @David_Heb @andothertweets Best European Fiction 2012 would be a good place to start. Or Drown by Junot Diaz
  15. @David_Heb you pretty much can’t go wrong with the Argentineans & the Hungarians. Knausgaard, Shishkin, Yoko Ogawa, Yoko Tawada, Mia Couto
  16. @David_Heb Saramago, if you haven’t read any of his.
  17. @David_Heb Clicked on ur tweet to say Saramago & saw @katobell already had! ‘Blindness’ is remarkable. Came to him after Kelman’s prose.
  18. @David_Heb @evastalke also Calvino, if you haven’t tried him. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller is a thing of joy. Unusual technique again,
  19. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions. I’m still on the lookout for ideas, so please feel free to chip in below.


  1. Ludmila Ulitskaya, anything, but I loved Medea’s Children a lot! I second Jean-Claude Izzo and would add Massimo Carlotto if you like crime fiction, as well as Andrey Kurkov and Jakob Arjouni.

  2. Have you read Herman Koch’s The Dinner yet? San Garrett’s excellent translation means it reads like it could have been written in English originally.

  3. Have a look at my blog : plenty of French lit and other countries too

  4. This was a great question..I now have even more suggestions for my TBR pile. Yvonne Johnston ^^^above mentions ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch..I got that last weekend and am now looking forward to reading it even more…

  5. Also, take a look at the 2013 translation challenge on this great blog if you need more inspiration,,,

  6. I loved Per Petterson’s OUT STEALING HORSES, and Burton Raffel’s translation of Miguel de Cervantes’s DON QUIJOTE. Roberto Bolaño has been mentioned, but I’ve only read THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES, which — as I was in my father’s hometown in the Philippines at the time — gave the experience of being home and not-quite-home a very surreal charge. Highly recommend the Bolaño for anyone who’s thinking of exploring another country (i.e., not as a tourist)

  7. Commenting from a Germanist perspective! It’s hard to comment without knowing your taste in books, but if you haven’t read W. G. Sebald, something wonderful is awaiting you. Joseph Roth’s books are coming back into vogue – I love his Radetzky March, a classic. Peter Hadnke should be more widely read – try Repetition. I also adored Neuman’s Traveller of the Century, just a delight! And H. G. Adler’s Panorama and The Journey are complex, devastating but ultimately hopeful fictions about surviving the Shoah, beautifully translated by Peter Filkins. Next on my reading list is Splithead by Julya Rabinowitch, which comes very highly recommended. Happy reading!

  8. I would recommend trying something by Stefan Zweig if you haven’t already. I loved Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada too, and intend to read more by him.

  9. David Hebblethwaite

    7th June 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for all your suggestions, folks. My to-read pile has grown considerably…

    (By the way, for those who were asking: yes, I have read The Dinner – there’s a review here.

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