A big week for new fiction. Ian McEwan’s latest novel Solar is out. Kakutani just called it his “funniest novel yet.” Also now apparently available (despite its late April pub date) is the latest in the long line posthumously published works by Roberto Bolaño, Antwerp, a slim volume that has been described as both a prose poem and a crime novel. Deborah Eisenberg’s big new volume of collected stories is also out today, as is Rachel Cusk’s The Bradshaw Variations. Hilary Mantel is a fan of the latter. And finally, The Lotus Eaters, a debut novel from sometime Millions contributor Tatjana Soli.
“If you ask around, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a really bad novel easily enough. I mean a novel by someone who has spent isolated years writing a book they are convinced is a great work of literature. And when you’re reading it you’ll know it’s bad, and you’ll know what bad truly is.” What makes bad writing so bad? Toby Litt at The Guardian investigates.
Blood-Drenched Beard, a new novel by Daniel Galera, is poised to spark a newfound interest in Brazilian literature abroad, argues Chris Frey. In The Globe and Mail, he writes that Galera has forged an original voice, one recalling Borges and Murakami but still distinctly his own. For more on the book, you could read our review.
After sixteen years of work, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, “the world’s only celebrity translation team,” have finally finished translating all of Tolstoy, ending with last fall’s Hadji Murat. Humanities interviews them, and back in 2009, so did we.