Friday, 6 April 2012

Best European Fiction 2012

Have I mentioned that Dalkey Archive Press's latest edition of their Best European Fiction anthology includes a story by Clemens Meyer? Possibly in reaction to those accusations of being middle-class and irrelevant, they chose a rather upsetting piece about a murderer, which was no fun at all to translate, and apparently also no fun to write either.

But if it's not fun you're after - and you happen to be in London - then you can catch Clemens himself in conversation with Sanneke van Hassel (The Netherlands) and Duncan Bush (Wales) at the Southbank Centre this coming Monday. I assume the editor Aleksandar Hemon will be there too, who doesn't look quite as pouty and rebellious in real life as he does in the photo, sadly. I attended last year's event and was pleasantly surprised by the range of voices presented, and also by the free glass of wine afterwards.

And speaking of best fiction and London, the wonderful Charlotte Ryland has a guest piece on the Foyles blog. She writes about how German-language fiction isn't what people used to think it was, highlighting a few excellent examples. Foyles, in case you don't know, is an excellent bookshop in London, the kind where you can go to the information desk and ask, "Excuse me, who was it that wrote The Yiddish Policemen's... ummm... Thingy?" and the charming information person will reply at the drop of a hat, "Michael Chabon" - without making you feel like a total fool. And then they'll also have it on their incredibly long fiction shelves. If Foyles were a man, I'd take him home with me. He would no doubt peruse my personal bookshelves with interest and ask intelligent questions that didn't make me feel inadequate. And really, what more could a girl ask for?

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