Reading Mo Yan 莫言

I first learnt about Mo Yan / 莫言 when I was browsing books in an Eslite bookstore in Taipei. There was an entire shelf featuring his works that had been translated into English. Many of these books had “Winner of 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature” printed on the cover, lest this recognition goes unnoticed. Having made a…

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Gerbrand Bakker: The Detour

Gerbrand Bakker’s “The Detour“, translated from Dutch into English by David Colmer: This is a story about a woman with a debilitating illness who has escaped from her former life in Amsterdam and retreated into a rural farmhouse, complete with an unused pigsty, geese and roaming sheep, in northern Wales. Narrated from a third-person perspective, the…

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John Williams: Stoner

Stoner was in the bag as I waited for the train at Brussels’ Gare Centrale to bring me to Amsterdam. If I didn’t know that the book is named after the protagonist, William Stoner, I might have cast it aside as being a novel about someone who is constantly stoned. While the title seems a…

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Antal Szerb: Journey by Moonlight

I just finished reading Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb – first published in Hungarian in 1937, translated into English by Len Rix in 2000. What an intriguing journey! I was drawn into the story from the beginning as I followed the protagonist, Mihaly on a spontaneous escapade from his bourgeois life, as well as his newly-wed…

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