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Best European Fiction 2010 by Aleksandar…
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Best European Fiction 2010 (edition 2009)

by Aleksandar Hemon (Editor), Zadie Smith (Preface)

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1663161,998 (3.52)14
Historically, English-language readers have been great fans of European literature, and names like Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, and Thomas Mann are so familiar we hardly think of them as foreign at all. What those writers brought to English-language literature was a wide variety of new ideas, styles, and ways of seeing the world. Yet times have changed, and how much do we even know about the richly diverse literature being written in Europe today? Best European Fiction 2010 is the inaugural installment of an annual anthology of stories from across Europe edited by Bosnian novelist and MacArthur "Genius-Award" winner Aleksandar Hemon with dozens of editorial, media, and programming partners in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.… (more)
Member:malinablue
Title:Best European Fiction 2010
Authors:Aleksandar Hemon
Other authors:Zadie Smith (Preface)
Info:Dalkey Archive Press (2009), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
Rating:
Tags:fiction, short stories, anthologies, university press, academic, best european fiction, bedroom library

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Best European Fiction 2010 by Aleksandar Hemon (Editor)

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» See also 14 mentions

English (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (3)
Showing 2 of 2
This was a very interesting collection of short stories from around Europe. There's one piece from each country, so it really felt like a broad and varied collection rather than being weighted toward particular countries. One thing I didn't like is that some of them were extracts from longer pieces, which I don't think works very well. A short story is crafted specifically to fit that length; an extract from a novel, no matter how well-written, often feels dissatisfying to me because I feel as if I'm missing things by not reading the rest of it. Also I found it strange that, despite the 2010 in the title, the stories themselves were written between 2006 and 2009. I suppose it doesn't really matter, but I like the idea of surveying the best things written in one particular year. The 2010 just means that this is the inaugural edition of what will be an annual collection.

The stories gave me some really interesting ideas. They were so varied in style and subject matter, and even the ones I didn't like at least had a fresh and interesting style. Nothing was boring or predictable - I didn't enjoy all of the stories, but never because it felt too similar to something I'd read before. Some of my favourites were:

Bulbjerg by Naja Marie Aidt (Denmark): an idyllic family walk in the countryside that quickly becomes nightmarish - they get lost, the boy falls off his bike and is seriously injured, the husband confesses to an affair with the wife's sister...

Resistance by Stephan Enter (Netherlands): reminiscence about a childhood chess teacher, which really captured well the dynamics of boyhood, the difficulty of escaping from the group mentality, the ease of going along with the crowd rather than standing up for a teacher who is different, better, but easy to mock.

Friedmann Space by Victor Pelevin (Russia): clever satire of the greed, chaos and corruption of post-Soviet Russia, in which the phrase "money attracts money" is taken literally and a character goes around Moscow carrying thousands of dollars of cash and ends up finding a lot more. I liked how the writer used the language of science to add a faux seriousness to a comic tale.

I also appreciated the useful information at the back of the book: very full author bios/personal statements, translator bios, and a list of online resources for literature in each of the European countries featured in the collection. I can't recommend all the stories in the collection, but the book overall was worth reading. I will definitely be reading the 2011 edition. ( )
  AndrewBlackman | Nov 4, 2010 |
As with most thick anthologies there are some clunkers as well as some beauties. What makes this so distinct is the way our European brethren are able to define and redefine writing. There are a few authors that totally reinvent the wheel, and I applaud both their ingenuity and the refreshing water. If you like to explore this is for you. Authors represent from Albania to the Ukraine. Good stuff! ( )
3 vote revslick | Jun 3, 2010 |
Showing 2 of 2
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hemon, AleksandarEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aidt, Naja MarieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Albahari, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Štiks, IgorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ābele, IngaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blatnik, AndrejContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bragi, SteinarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brander, JuhaniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dalcielo, CarloContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Enter, StephanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fian, AntonioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fonalleras, Josep M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fosse, JonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gospodinov, GeorgiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gough, JulianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, AlasdairContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Konrád, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krištúfek, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levy, DeborahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Manolache, CosminContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
mãe, valter hugoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montalbetti, ChristineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mozzi, GiulioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ní Choileáin, OrnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ospelt, MathiasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pelevin, VictorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Radvilavičiūtė, GiedraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ríos, JuliánContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simpson, PennyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smilevski, GoceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, ZadiePrefacesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stamm, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Terrin, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Toussaint, Jean-PhilippeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ušumović, NevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Viiding, EloContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vorpsi, OrnelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Witkowski, MichałContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Historically, English-language readers have been great fans of European literature, and names like Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, and Thomas Mann are so familiar we hardly think of them as foreign at all. What those writers brought to English-language literature was a wide variety of new ideas, styles, and ways of seeing the world. Yet times have changed, and how much do we even know about the richly diverse literature being written in Europe today? Best European Fiction 2010 is the inaugural installment of an annual anthology of stories from across Europe edited by Bosnian novelist and MacArthur "Genius-Award" winner Aleksandar Hemon with dozens of editorial, media, and programming partners in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.

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