A world tour through literature elsewhere

The success of his first two novels, Conversations between friends and Normal People (L’Olivier, 2019 and 2021), both adapted into television series, will have been enough to make the young Sally Rooneythe new queen of Irish letters. The “J.D. Salinger of the Snapchat generation,” as some call her, returns with Where are you, wonderful world? (L’Olivier, September 28), a novel in which she examines the friendly and romantic relationships of four Irish people in their thirties.

After becoming interested in the life of Henry James with The master (Robert Laffont, 2005), the Irishman Colm Toibin resumes the biographical vein with The magician (Grasset, November), in which he reconstructs in his own way the existence of Thomas Mann, the famous author of Death in Venice and of The magic mountain. The great German writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929, had an eventful and often dramatic family life, and witnessed all the political tragedies of the first half of the 20th century.e century.

The British novelist Rachel Cusk (Arlington Park), born in Saskatchewan in 1967, returns with The addiction (Gallimard, September), sound 11e novel, the original version of which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Awards in 2021. A sort of tense and suffocating behind closed doors in which three couples will have to live together, intrigue and be jealous of each other within the framework of an artists’ residence located in the English countryside, by the ocean, “between stifled desires, artistic pride and disappointed illusions”.

The author of PenguinUkrainian Andrei Kurkovwill come back to us for his part with kyiv’s ear (Liana Levi, November). In kyiv, in 1919, the civil war is raging, and the region is in the grip of fights which oppose Bolsheviks, Ukrainian separatists, white army and anarchists. A student discovers that the severed ear of his father – killed before his eyes – continues to hear and transmits to him at times the noises it picks up…

On the death of her aunt, the Russian writer Maria Stepanova had to empty an apartment full of outdated photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries and souvenirs: vestiges of a century of life in Russia. A discovery that triggers in her an irresistible need to explore the archives she inherited, retracing the history of her family and of Europe since the end of the 19th century.e century, revealing the unsaid, the lies and the red herrings that she explores in In memory of memory (Stock, November).

Winner of the book of the year award in Sweden for Stold (Robert Laffont, October 5), Ann-Helen Laestadius depicts, in this novel, a Sami family of reindeer herders confronted with xenophobia. The novel traces the struggle of a young woman to defend her heritage and her place in a society where “modern ideas collide with a culture shaped by tradition and fear”. For his part, with And the forest will burn under our feet (Otherwise, October), the journalist Jens Liljestrandwill offer us a militant novel at a time of climatic disasters. As central Sweden is ravaged by flames, people flee and invade Stockholm, infrastructure collapses and undermines the social fabric.

In Winners (Gallimard, in bookshops), Roy Jacobsen (The invisible, Lumberjacks) takes head-on the whole history of Norway in the XXe century. A novel in which we follow the life of an emblematic Norwegian family, from the coast of Helgeland to Oslo, from the summer of 1927 to the spring of 1990. Published in 1991 in Norway, this romantic fresco was a huge critical success. and public. In addition, we will take a look at the Swedish side Elin Cullhedwho imagines in Euphoria: A Novel About Sylvia Plath (L’Observatoire, September 29) the last year of Sylvia Plath and sticks to the flamboyant style of the author of The distress bell (The Bell Jar), wondering if Plath’s “madness” might not be, after all, that of the world and its contradictions.

From dawn to night, on a scorching August day, teenagers, men and women pass each other in a town in southern Spain, characters on the verge of breaking up or trying to take their destiny into their own hands. Founding member, with Eduardo Lago, Enrique Vila-Matas and Jordi Soler, of the literary Order of the Finnegans – which meets in Dublin every June 16 in homage to Joyce -, the Spaniard Antonio Soler comes back with South (Rivages, September 29), Premio de la critica 2019 in Spain. “A novel of overflowing and fascinating creativity”, according to the daily El País.

Adored by his students, admired by his colleagues, appreciated by his management, a young high school teacher in a small town in Japan leads a double life as a… psychopath. With The lesson of evil (Belfond, October 5), the Japanese Yusuke Kishi sign some kind ofAmerican Psycho Japanese, they say, fierce and joyful criticism of a society locked in its codes.

In the heart of a wild valley in the Carpathians, in Romania, an old man makes charcoal. When he is not crisscrossing the mountains at the wheel of his old Trabant, he reminisces about his existence: the war, the Soviet camps, Ceausescu. With YoshkaRomanian Christian Fulas (La Peuplade, October 11) gives us “a powerful song dedicated to tiny lives broken and forgotten in the great race of the world”.

In 2019, a poet is invited by the University of Beira, on the coast of Mozambique, a few days before a cyclone completely destroys the city. In the shadow of this cataclysm, he rediscovers his childhood and adolescence in these streets where he lived in the 1970s, but also makes a journey “towards the center of his soul” and finds there his father, a great committed poet. in the struggle against Portuguese colonization. It will be read in The cartographer of absencesthe latest novel by the Mozambican Mia Couto (Métailié, October 20).

The author of Love, etc.. (foreign Femina prize in 1992) and Flaubert’s parrotthe British Julian Barnes comes back with Elizabeth Finch (Mercure de France, October), a “love novel like no other”, in which an actor in his thirties enrolled in a history and civilization course develops a friendship and a fascination for his teacher. When he died, years later, he inherited his personal papers and undertook to capture all of its complexity. A “strange and romantic” love novel, which is coupled with an investigation into the mysteries that make up a life.

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A world tour through literature elsewhere