Book Review: Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit

Thousands of pages and hours have been consumed debating the purposes of literature. Many, myself included, would agree with Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, who says it “enable[s] us to explore and to understand more fully the common human abyss.” And foreign authors like Vargas Llosa enable Americans to see the extent to which elements […]

Book Review: Human Acts by Han Kang

Translated literature offers an opportunity rarely seen in American literature. We know America, we grew up here, we reflect — if not create — its culture. Books from other countries allow us to go someplace that is, by definition, alien. They can immerse us in the country’s culture and let us see life from a […]

Book Review: The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare

There is a place where the literary world and the gaming industry intersect. It’s the Nobel Prizes. Once again this year you can place bets on who is going to win the Literature Prize.

Once again, Albanian author Ismail Kadare is considered a contender. As of this review, he’s one of three authors listed at […]

A personal challenge to read the world

I gave up on book challenges a year or so ago. Part of it stemmed from the fact that, as I’ve said earlier this year, I want to read what I want to read when I feel like reading it. While I still let a few book reviews impact that, I’ve stuck pretty close to […]

Book Review: The Investigation by Phillipe Claudel

Kafkaesque. It’s one of a handful of literary terms that is really overworked. But I challenge anyone to read Phillipe Claudel’s The Investigation without that word coming to mind. Ultimately, though, Claudel adds a surrealistic resolution that may baffle readers.

Claudel’s book tells of the Investigator, sent to an unnamed city to investigate a series […]