Orhan Pamuk: The Museum of Innocence

I first came upon The Museum of Innocence while wandering around the dimly lit streets of Beyoğlu in search of dinner at midnight . It was my first night in Istanbul on my own after finishing a project in Etiler, another neighborhood on the European side of city. The unusual-sounding museum on the street sign piqued my curiosity…

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Paul Morand: The Man in a Hurry

Pierre Noix is a Parisian antiques dealer. In spite of his occupation, he is preoccupied with the future and neglects the present. Always thinking of the next action or task, he takes no time to enjoy the simple or grand pleasures of life – be it a cigar, a lobster entrée or the act of sex.…

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Banana Yoshimoto: Kitchen

“The place I like best in the world is the kitchen,” declares a youthful Mikage Sakurai at the beginning of “Kitchen“. Written by Banana Yoshimoto*, Kitchen quickly become a bestseller when it was published in 1988. Yoshimoto also received some of Japan’s top literary prizes with her first book, further fanning the “Bananamania” in the country. Having recently read Kitchen –…

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Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen: Rabbit Back Literature Society

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Rabbit Back Literature Society. The whimsical cover had comments such as “unnerving, enigmatic”, “unexpected, thrilling and absurd” and “a lobster pot of a book”. Rabbit Back Literature Society was written by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and translated from Finnish by Lola Rogers. That it was published by one of my favourite publishers, Pushkin…

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A. M. Homes: Music for Torching

It was just past midnight. “About time to sleep,” I said to AB as I pulled Music for Torching by A. M. Homes from the shelves to read. It was around five in the morning when I turned the last page on the suburban nightmare that Homes created. Music for Torching is centred around an upper-class couple…

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