Category Contemporary Fiction

Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn

Hogarth Shakespeare’s latest novel, Dunbar is Edward St. Aubyn’s take on the Bard of Avon’s famous tragedy King Lear. I wasn’t familiar with King Lear story, but I didn’t buy the original play like last time because I assumed Dunbar will contain a summarized account of King Lear. However, it didn’t, and I had to […]

Young Once by Patrick Modiano

In 2014 Patrick Modiano who is called “Marcel Proust of our time” won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the Occupation.” He was a well-known writer in France at the time, but he was not popular […]

The Fires of Autumn by Irène Némirovsky

In 1914 when WWI is declared, Bernard Jacquelain is only a young boy of seventeen. He is full of patriotism, and in the naive belief that the war would end in three months he voluntarily joins the war to fight for the honor of France. But three months turn into four years, and when Bernard […]

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman

A Horse Walks into a Bar is a clever novel, but reading it was a tiring experience. Dovaleh G is a veteran standup comedian who takes the stage at a comedy club in the small Israeli town of Netanya. Avishai Lazar, Dov’s childhood friend, and former District Court Justice is also in the audience, and […]

All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky

All Our Worldly Goods is a story of love; love that comes in many forms. It begins with the romance between Pierre and Agnes, who were next door neighbors growing up in the provincial town of Saint-Elme in France. Their love and commitment to each other get tested very early on, as Pierre’s industrious, tyrannical […]

The Dogs and the Wolves by Irène Némirovsky

The Dogs and the Wolves is the story of two distantly related Jewish families: the Sinners. They live in a Ukranian city where the poor, ‘unsavory’ Jews lived in the ghetto while the wealthy Jews lived on top of a hill in “the realm of the blessed.” With Ada’s father working as a broker, Ada’s […]

Jezebel by Irène Némirovsky

I’m falling behind my Irène Némirovsky year-long project. I’ve been crazy busy these days (more about it later), and I couldn’t read Jezebel which was supposed to be my June read. Hopefully, I’ll have time to read another Némirovsky this month, so I can be back on track with my project! In Jezebel, we see […]

Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal

The novella Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age is written as a single (unfinished) sentence! Long sentences that run for pages are not my usual cup of tea. I still remember how daunting it was to read Gabriel García Márquez’s (he is one of my favorite authors) The Autumn Of The Patriarch. And that […]

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Marianne, in her sixties, has been married to Lothar, her controlling husband for forty-one years. During a trip to Paris unable to take Lothar’s mistreatment anymore, Marianne decides to end her life only to be saved thanks to a Samaritan. The episode doesn’t win Marianne any sympathy from Lothar, who chides Marianne and leaves her […]

The Wine of Solitude by Irène Némirovsky

It is said out of all Irène Némirovsky’s novels The Wine of Solitude is the most autobiographical. Dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships are a recurring theme in Némirovsky’s novels I have read, but none of them have examined those relationships up close like The Wine of Solitude. In The Wine of Solitude, Hélène Karol’s mother is a beautiful […]