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New and Novel

A Brezhnev era satire of Soviet repression, a book of short stories revolving around the siege of Sarajevo and poems from “Perhaps the most famous Russian poet of the twentieth century. ” In other words, beach reading. Poems of Osip Mandelstam Peter France writes in his foreword: “I have always been conscious that Mandelstam was an […]

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New and Novel

A lot of early 20th century Moscow, Paris (through Russian eyes) and Berlin this week, though also some interstellar travel, 21st century Berlin and more. Black Snow by Mikhail Bulgakov After being saved from a suicide attempt by the appearance of a literary editor, the journalist and failed novelist Sergei Maxudov has a book suddenly […]

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Arthur Eloesser in B O D Y

“The Berliner wants to be loved now too, and would gladly trade the familiar admiration of serious folk for the affections of the international idlers’ colony that seeks, in London and especially in Paris, a climate for pleasures high and low. I find this pandering and chasing after people undignified, and anyway it leads to […]

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New and Novel

This week’s new and newish books offer up some Russian murder, more Russian murder and ah, relief – an unraveling alcoholic Russian life! Well, don’t blame me, read about a school for wizards, S&M or the latest Junot Díaz if you want, but these books all look amazing.       The Stone Bridge by […]

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New and Novel

There is a some environmental and personal catastrophe in Kazakhstan and a story in interwar Central Europe ending in a journey to the concentration camps. Then a very different journey from Moldova pointing towards the promised land of Italy, some Ottoman intrigue and conversations with Orhan Pamuk, and three works by Chekhov.       […]

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New and Novel

From a book of essays that charts everything from the “listlessness of Central Europe to the ennui of the Low Countries” to a series of books that covers pretty much the rest of the bases by dealing with “Life and death—under water, and in the sky. Sinister picnics. Hellish cafeterias.” (If there’s anything else in […]

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New and Novel

The story of the beautiful and tragic Dagny Juel, inspiration to Munch and Strindberg among others; Polish science-fiction, an autobiography of a physician and party girl in Weimar Berlin, Charlotte Wolff, and an English-language debut novel from Georgia are among the new books being featured this week. Nest of Worlds by Marek S. Huberath Nest […]

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Literalab’s Best Books of 2013

1. The Devil’s Workshop by Jáchym Topol (translated by Alex Zucker)             Like my favorite book of the year before, my favorite book of 2013 delves into the ultimate horrors that man inflicts on his fellow man, but does so with a surplus of imagination, suspense and humor. Whereas Selvedin […]

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Ioso Havilio in B O D Y

Paradises might be a reimagining of Camus’ Outsider – but in female form and living in 21st-century Buenos Aires. Our narrator allows the hazards of death and chance encounters to lead her through the city, where she sleepwalks into a job in the zoo’s reptile house, and another administering morphine to one of the oddball […]

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Book Review: ‘Under This Terrible Sun’

Last month B O D Y published an excerpt from Argentine writer Carlos Busqued’s debut novel Under This Terrible Sun, just recently published in Megan McDowell’s English translation. Now, I have written a review of the book for this week’s Friday Pick. Read the review, read the excerpt, read the novel – not necessarily in […]

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