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Here We Lie
Paula Treick DeBoard
Always Happy Hour: Stories
Mary Miller
As A God Might Be
Neil Griffiths
The Museum of Modern Love
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Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics)
Elisabeth Duckworth, James Stern, Jürgen Born, Erich Heller
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Julia Fierro, Lynsay Sands

Ah yes! 'Tirza' - what a book...

Tirza - Arnon Grunberg, Sam Garrett

Ah yes! 'Tirza' - what a book... 'Jörgen Hofmeester is in the kitchen, cutting tuna for the party.' is the first (possibly significant, in retrospect) sentence in Sam Garrett's English translation appearing in the UK a mere nine years after the original. Patterns are repeated, subtle clues sprinkled about... I loved the slow pacing. I had to re-read parts of it to see how it was done and experienced a few 'aftershocks'. The Open Letter paperback is a lovely thing too - the weight, the smell of the paper... Pity it seems that more Grunbergs in English are cancelled for the time being (see Three Percent blog).


I seem to like books which start with preparations for a party. For example, Jay McInerney's 'Brightness Falls', which I happen to be reading now, begins: 'Lemoning the sole fillets in the kitchen, Corinne hears her husband's voice louder than the rest...' How could I not read on?? (I came a bit late to that party, as the book was written 1992). Anyway, back to fiction in translation, I also enjoyed Inga Ābele’s 'High Tide' and Mircea Cartarescu's 'Blinding' (he's written the book I wish I could write...).


Have you read Markus Werner's 'On The Edge'? This ended with a twist, had a sense of humour but had minimal 'plot' - often a good thing... I did not enjoy Herman Koch's 'The Dinner' so much because plot got in the way of the wonderful bickering at the dinner table. Did you ever read Wolf Haas's 'The Weather Fifteen Years Ago'? Am I the only person who loved it so much? It sure had humour and a most unusual structure which almost put me off immediately - I'm so glad I stuck with it.