Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants by Mathias Énard

Staff Pick

Fresh from his Man Booker International nomination for Compass, Mathias Énard returns to the literary world with his new book, Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants (New Directions, $19.95). His new novel is a fictionalized account of Michelangelo, the famed sculptor, and his sojourn in the Turkish city of Constantinople to build a bridge for Sultan Ali Pasha. The novel, though short,  showcases Énard’s trademark intelligence and agility by interposing what to the reader seem to be historical documents and epistolary asides to create a metafictional narrative that centers on what artists go through in the act of creating their art. However, what is truly impressive in this novel is Énard’s capacity to evoke sixteenth-century Constantinople. Reading Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants gives the reader a sense of place that few writers can match.

Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780811227049
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: New Directions - November 27th, 2018

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Staff Pick

Convenience Store Woman (Grove, $20), by Sayaka Murata, is an intimate glimpse into an ordinary life that, in the eyes of society, is still not ordinary enough. The book’s protagonist, Keiko, is quite content with her self-acclaimed peculiar, quiet existence, but everyone around her is always trying to judge and “fix” her. Keiko’s internal dialogue and her attempts to construct a “normal” identity make this book one of the best character studies in modern literature. This tiny novel packs in a Kafkaesque look at conformity, questions about how to live one’s life and what it means to be “normal.” all with a fiercely feminist voice and sharp insight. Get it for someone who is looking for the perfect entry point into contemporary Japanese literature, or for a slightly quirky and unsettling read.

Convenience Store Woman By Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802128256
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Grove Press - June 12th, 2018

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