Now that the predictable “who is she?” brouhaha over this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for literature has ended, it is time to explore the artistry of Herta Müller, whose books consistently denounce the corruption of language and memory, often by reworking her own past experiences in innovative, lyrical, and evocative prose.
An interview with Cuban writer José Manuel Prieto about the English translation of the late Guillermo Rosales’s “The Halfway House,” a powerful novel about exile, revolution, and mental illness.
Written in the fifteenth century, “Celestina” remains a classic work of Spanish literature that, in a lively new English version by the acclaimed translator Margaret Sayers Peden, proffers all the sex, drama, and violence necessary for an HBO mini-series.
Paula Jacques’s “Light of My Eye” is a heart-wrenching novel about the dissolution of Egyptian Jewish life, the tale of a people displaced ten years after World War II.
Niccolò Ammaniti, the internationally best-selling author of “I’m Not Scared,” comes up with another compelling tale of gritty crime and desperate punishment, this time revolving around a father and son facing a variety of demons.
“The Stalin Epigram” is offered as a novelist’s homage to Osip Mandelstam, the poet who embodied both a new era in Russian poetry and the martyrdom of Russia’s intelligentsia under Stalinism. But the book turns out to be a crown of thorns, a posthumous offense to a poet who has few defenders at the ready to fence for his honor.
Colombian author Evelio Rosero has been writing about the miseries of his homeland for three decades now. His novels, many of which take on the internecine wars, kidnappings, murders, and political upheavals of his country, have won numerous awards (including, humorously enough, the National Literature Prize from the Colombian Ministry of Culture). His work is notorious for being brutally realistic, even hyperrealistic, and “The Armies,” which won 2009 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, is no exception.
Mexican writer Mario Bellatín’s growing international literary reputation as a leading Spanish-language experimentalist suggests that he’s a pop innovator focused on the grotesque, playfully obsessed with the consciousness of the outcast.
Veteran Brazilian writer Ignácio de Loyola Brandão expertly lampoons the vapidity of celebrity culture, the tyranny of the photo-op, in his latest novel.
“An Elegy for Easterly” is a vibrant collection of stories that artfully combines humor and horror in its depiction of the struggle to survive in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.