Because I wrote for the Frankfurt Book Fair blog and newsletter, and because yes, I did stay out too late at the Frankfurter Hof and elsewhere, and because the Sportschule (a great place to stay, if not a bit Spartan) has some serious internet difficulties, I really didn’t have a chance to write my usual gossipy, personal posts from Frankfurt. And there’s really no way to go back and recapture the frenetic insanity that is the Frankfurt Book Fair.
(I have to say, one of the big things I’ve noticed upon returning is just how quiet life can be. Not a single person spoke on the bus this morning, and the only thing I heard was a tinny voice from the radio: “. . . bring his liberal values to Congress . . .” The FBF is aflame with noise. Everywhere.)
So instead of writing about the parties and whatnot, over the course of the day I’m going to link to all the posts I wrote for the FBF blog and some of the ones that Edward Nawotka and Andrew Wilkins wrote. (They did a ton more posts than I did.)
It’s not hard to pick up on the evolution of my posts from the FBF . . . They start out as journalistic as I can possibly write and sort of d/evolve into the typical 3P sort of post.
And as I sort through the four bags (seriously, my wrists can attest to the fact that this isn’t an exaggeration) of materials we brought back, I’ll write up the more interesting items.
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .