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I'm searching for book recommendation for books which were originally written *not* in English, German or Russian. I would like to expand my horizons and while I've read books from other countries, I'm most familiar with books written in these three languages, since they are the ones I speak and can read books in. So I ask for everything else :)

What do I like? Classics - from ancient Greek to modern - , postmodernism, social relevance, well written science fiction and perhaps, sometimes, a bit of fantasy. Intertextuality and a certain level of meta within the work itself (I'm looking at you, Milan Kundera; you made me addicted to it) is always a win. Novels, plays, short fiction - everything is fine as long as it is well written. Mythology and fairy tales are great, too.

I've once written a pretty long list of authors I like, which might give you a general impression of my pretty eclectic reading habits - well, at least a better one than any list of likes and dislikes would give:

Dante Alighieri, Rose Ausländer, Heinrich Böll, Wolfgang Borchert, Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, Bertolt Brecht, Myra Cakan, Albert Camus, Michael Chabon, Anton Chekhov, J.M. Coetzee, Eoin Colfer, Arthur Conan Doyle, Samuel R. Delany, Pablo De Santis, Leon DeWinter, Philip K. Dick, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Umberto Eco, Greg Egan, Theodor Fontane, Max Frisch, Neil Gaiman, Jaroslav Hašek, Federico García Lorca, William Gibson, Steven Harper, Christoph Hein, Michel Houellebecq, Elfriede Jelinek, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Mascha Kaléko, Rudyard Kipling, Milan Kundera, Lautreamont, Ursula K. LeGuin, Stanislaw Lem, Heinrich Mann, Klaus Mann, John Milton, Michael Moorcock, Victor Pelevin, Marge Piercy, Dina Rubina, Salman Rushdie, Jose Saramago, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Schiller, Robert Silverberg, Sophocles, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Franz Werfel, Kate Wilhelm, Christa Wolf, Roger Zelazny

Any idea whom else I should try reading because they would so wonderfully fit in this list?


( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 28th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the rec! I've not read any of the two yet and, judging from a quick look with google, they definitely sound like authors I'll enjoy!
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 28th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 28th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jun. 29th, 2011 07:46 am (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendations! :) I'm going to get some info on the authors and decide what by them to read!
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
If you like Sartre and Camus, you might also like de Beauvoir (who I would suggest is way better than Sartre at everything, ever). "She Came to Stay" might be a good book to start with, but she wrote a few novels and some short stories too, I think.

You could give Isaac Bashevis Singer a try. He wrote short stories and novels in Yiddish. I started with "The Slave."

Margeurite Duras is an interesting French author whose work *might* be right up your alley. She was the writer of the film "Hiroshima, Mon Amour," so if you saw and liked that, you might like the other things she wrote.

Jun. 29th, 2011 07:56 am (UTC)
Her "All Men are Mortal" lying next to my bed as one of the next books I plan to read! But I'll also remember "She Came to Stay" when buying books next time!

Singer (in German, although I would almost like to try him in Yiddish, my grandma still speaks it ...) is on my wishlist now.

Is there any book by Duras you would particularly recommend? I've not seen the movie and a quick google search did not lead me to a certain book which would be outstanding.
(no subject) - she_shies_away - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jun. 29th, 2011 07:58 am (UTC)
Thank you!
I've heard about the book, but I'm afraid I'm usually not much into memoirs. I will however keep it in mind for the case that I feel like reading one :)
Jun. 28th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
I think you should give Umberto Eco a try - he qualifies on the intertextuality front (if I'm understanding that right) and if you start with The Name Of The Rose you could benefit from the sneaky Sherlock Holmes references. I loved Foucault's Pendulum as well though, and his journalism/lit crit is also great.
Jun. 29th, 2011 07:59 am (UTC)
I love Eco - unfortunately, that also means that I've read quite a lot of him, both novels and essays ;) He is listed above as one of my favourites ... (And he is also the reason why I started reading Jorge Luis Borges!)
(no subject) - soho_iced - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "100 Years of Solitude" and "Autumn of the Patriarch". He is labeled Magical Realism.(Spanish)

"Coin Locker Babies" by Ryu Murakami(Not the more well known one)Not exactly similar in style to neil gaiman or Phillip K. Dick, but in mixing reality and fantasy.(Japanese)

For fantasy try in modern day try The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko.(Russian)

and lastly a bunch of african ghost stories told through the escapdes of one boy in "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" by Amos Tutuola. It was written in english, but I figured i'd mention it since its african stories and the author only had up at a 6th grade level in english.
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:18 am (UTC)
I've read "100 Years of Solitude" and was unfortunately rather "meh" about it. I'm willing to give Garcia Marquez another chance, but not soon ...

Ryu Murakami sounds very much interesting - his "Coin Locker Babies" is on my wishlist now.

Lukyanenko's Night Watch series is great, but I've already read the books - I can read Russian, so I'm pretty well-read in Russian literature, that's why I explicitly asked for things non English, German, or Russian. Have you read all four of them? I so love the ending (though I still hope that he will write a few more stories set in the same universe!).

And Tutuola sounds fascinating, thank you!
(no subject) - luminousmotion - Jun. 29th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
Did you read The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende? It's magical realism. Also, Claudio Magris, Danubio. Haven't finished it yet myself, but I think you might like it.
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
I've not, but I will try! Though I'm tiny bit vary of magical realism lately, since I did not like Garcia Marquez at all :(

Danubio sounds great and is on my wishlist now. A book where Einstein and Kafka are mentioned in the short description has to be good :)
Jun. 28th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Bearing recs for French classics:

Zola is great, especially his novels "Lady's Delight" and "L'Assommoir"

Victor Hugo "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

If you like theatre, Samuel Beckett "Endgame" (20 th centyry) and Corneille's "The Cid" (17th century)

"The Counterfeiters" by Gide

Baudelaire "The Flowers of Evil" for poetry

"The Essays" by Montaigne

"Arria Marcella" by Théophile Gautier (short story)
Jun. 28th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I forgot the Finnish author Arto Paasilina. I love his books but very few have been translated into English (I don't know about German).
(no subject) - voldy06 - Jun. 28th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - la_mariane - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pax_athena - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:49 am (UTC) - Expand
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Jun. 28th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
I really loved The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal, originally written in French under the title Le Village de l'Allemans ou Le journal des Freres Schiller. It was translated into English by Frank Wynne

Also I'm a big fan of Pers Petterson, who writes in Norwegian, I think; he is translated into English- Out Chasing Horses, To Siberia
Jun. 29th, 2011 09:00 am (UTC)
Boualem Sansal actually shortly won a very important price in Germany, so thank you a lot for recommending a certain work by him! It will definitely be read!

Petterson is on my wishlist now, too, thank you!
Jun. 28th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
Well, Cervantes comes immediately to mind :)
Jun. 29th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC)
I've read Don Quijote as a kid, but thank you for reminding me that I should read it again :)
Jun. 29th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
Like Water for Chocolate
Jun. 29th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
Thank you for the rec! I'm a bit of vary of magic realism given my experience so far, but the books sounds interesting enough to try it nevertheless!
Jun. 29th, 2011 06:52 am (UTC)
Shizuko Natsuki has written some murder mysteries that have been translated into English from the original Japanese. Some of the titles are Murder at Mount Fuji, Portal of the Wind, Innocent Journey.

Maurice Leblanc wrote some novels and short stories in French about Arsène Lupin, the archetypal gentleman thief, in the early 1900s. Start with Exploits of Arsene Lupin. I see you like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so you'd probably like the stories where Arsene Lupin and Sherlock Holmes attempt to outwit each other.

Jules Verne is an author from the early days of science fiction who wrote in French. My favourite of his stories is 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea, and he has some other good ones too.
Jun. 29th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC)
Leblanc sounds very interesting, thank you :)

Verne I've read quite a lot by as a kid :) I guess I should return an re-read a few of his works at some point, I remember loving them.
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