Five new genre-bending books you may want to read this month

February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

I don’t usually post columns on books that I anticipate reading because I worry that it might have a negative influence on any reviews that may follow, but having read works by all five authors listed here, who have either had books released in either English or English translation in the US before, I think for once I can dismiss my general reluctance to promote and list the authors/books and briefly state why I’m looking forward to reading them (one I’ve already read):

Jamaica Kincaid, See Now Then (February 5).

Ever since reading a couple of Kincaid’s earlier books, including A Small Place and My Brother, I have been meaning to read more of her fiction, as she mixes character and place so superbly.  Have this scheduled to be downloaded to my iPad Tuesday morning.

Angélica Gorodischer, Trafalgar (January 29).

I have read several of Gorodischer’s fictions, including Kalpa Imperial, Opus Dos, Bajo las jubeas en flor, Casta luna electrónica, and Menta (and I have a couple of others to read/review later this year), yet I’ve not read Trafalgar in Spanish due to the difficulty in finding an affordable edition, so I will be buying the English translation later this week and reading/reviewing sometime this month.  Her stories remind me favorably at times of Ursula Le Guin’s best and the wide range of tales that Gorodischer has told over nearly 50 years makes me curious about this translation of a 1977 collection.

Karen Lord, The Best of All Possible Worlds (February 12).

I have been looking forward to this one ever since I learned about its existence a couple of months ago.  Really enjoyed her debut novel, Redemption in Indigo.  That novel’s mixture of West African and Caribbean story motifs was very well-done and I am curious to see how her writing style will translate to an off-planet setting.

Karen Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove (February 12).

I’ve enjoyed Russell’s fictions ever since I read one of the stories included in this, her second collection, during my readings for BAF 4.  Her first collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, I thought was an excellent debut collection and her first novel, 2011’s Swamplandia!, likewise showed promise.  Yet at this point in her career I prefer her short fictions to her novel and so my hopes are high that Vampires in the Lemon Grove will prove to be her strongest work to date.

Yoko Ogawa, Revenge (January 29).

I’ve already read Revenge and a mostly-positive (OK, I rarely write fully-positive reviews) review will be written in the next week or so.  It is a very good collection and the translation of this 1998 Japanese work was very good.  I also enjoyed her novel The Housekeeper and the Professor, which I highly recommend to most readers of this blog.

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