Literary roundup: reading material for the rest of your life

Read Russia

I just discovered the Read Russia 2012 site which has everything from video interviews with Olga Slavnikova, Boris Akunin and other well-known writers to a timeline with information on a range of Russian writers – from Andrei Gelasimov, whose Thirst I highly recommend, to some writers who look young enough to be my children. I will have some reviews of their books up so maybe I can revenge myself on them for being young, good-looking published writers. Then again, maybe I can’t.

The site also mentions the Russian Library project, which “is an ambitious 125-volume series of translated Russian fiction, drama, and poetry to be published over the next 10 years.” It should start in fall 2013, so now the question is what will I have to read after 2023?

Read Estonia too, for that matter

Transcript 39 is out with an issue devoted to Estonia, with short stories, novel extracts, poetry and a pair of very interesting essays. Doris Kareva’s editorial provides some background on a literature full of names I have never heard. Not to belabor a point but with so many interesting sounding writers in the world and with many of them being translated for those of us who don’t speak Estonian and other languages, why bother reading about an artistically-inclined youth in suburban Connecticut whose parents get divorced and whose mother dies of cancer? I just don’t get it.

For anyone wanting to learn more about Estonian writers the Estonian Literature Centre is the place to go.

World Literature Today and Berlin books

The latest issue of WLT is out with a good review of Zoran Drvenkar’s thriller Sorry, so if you haven’t had enough of “multigenerational pedophilia” and “grotesque consequences” from European crime writers then go read it. For any surface similarity with a very successful recent crime trilogy this book sounds like something altogether more challenging.

Besides this Croatian-born German writer there is a focus on German women writers and Berlin stories, with a supplemental Berlin Cityscapes reading list that combined with the 125 Russian volumes, all of Estonian literature pretty much could fill up the rest of most anyone’s reading life.

Photo – Ancient books in the restoration department. V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR, now the Russian State Library. November 1, 1986

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Categories: Magazines, News


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