Omega Minor

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Belgian Novelist Paul Verhaeghen wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize


Paul Verhaeghen’s monumentally proportioned second novel, Omega Minor, caught my eye when it appeared in bookstores earlier this year. Given the preponderance of 650-pagers on my spring reading list, I made a note to myself to pick it up in 2009. But the news that Verhaeghen, a Flemish cognitive pyschologist, has won the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has me wondering if I should make room sooner rather than later. Verhaeghen, now a resident of Atlanta, apparently translated Omega Minor himself. According to The Independent, part of the book is set during the Third Reich; to protest what he calls the Bush Administration’s “proto-fascist tendencies,” Verhaeghen will donate his £10,000 prize purse to the American Civil Liberties Union. (An excerpt of the novel is available on the Dalkey Archive website.)

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