The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen, translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw (Maclehose) Norway.
'Jacobsen's narrator is a determined woodsman who makes a defiant stand when his town is evacuated. His reasoning is plain: "I was born here, had lived here all my life and couldn't imagine living anywhere else." The novel resounds with humanity and laconic humor.' - Eileen Battersby, (The chief literary critic of The Irish Times)
A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen (Jonathan Cape) Israel.'An unexpected delight. Readers should be warned, however: A Horse Walks into a Baris neither remotely funny nor an easy read. First, Grossman no longer writes what we traditionally think of as novels: he has transcended genre; or rather, he has descended deep into the vaults beneath. Second, Grossman presents the reader with the difficulty of confronting and then coming to understand - and finally to love - the deeply offensive comedian who is at the center of the story' - Ian Sansom (Professor in the department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick)
Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors, translated by Misha Hoekstra (Pushkin Press) Denmark.
'This 200-page lamentation on contemporary loneliness would quickly grate if it were not for the benevolent ingenuity of Nors's writing. When Sonja's narrative breaks free of the corner she has boxed herself into, the prose swoops and soars like her yearned-for whooper swans. It's at these moments that Nors's reinvention of experimental fiction is so marvelous.' - Catherine Taylor (Writer and editor who works in a wide range of nonfiction forms)
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell (Oneworld) Argentina.
'The way Fever Dream is written invests every scene with suspense and makes a tantalizing riddle of the book's meaning. Its events play out somewhere between fears about GM crops (Argentina is one of the world's leading producers) and folk superstition. One could also argue for a reading of the book in which mothers, despite their overwhelming desire to keep their children safe, become the agents of disaster.' - Chris Power (Film director)
Judas by Amos Oz, translated by Nicholas de Lange (Chatto & Windus) Israel.
'Oz presents the clash of idealisms in such a way as to allow Israel's recent past to reverberate in the present, while at the same time connecting them to the much more ancient Judas story that fascinates Shmuel. It's a complex and impressive achievement, and although it can lead to characters speaking with a degree of articulacy that makes ordinary conversation seem like formal debate, Oz is also conscious of the need to keep things human and humane.' - Andrew Motion (English poet, novelist, and biographer)
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