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by Leo Tolstoy
The number of novelists with a claim to having published major work this year forms a kind of alphabet: Aira, Amis, Bolaño, Boyd, Carey, Cohen, Cunningam, Donoghue...
Dozens of books that you'll want to be reading for the rest of the year and into the next. Dig in!
With four books heading to the Hall of Fame, that means we have four new books landing on the list, ranging from hard-boiled Scandinavian thrillers to historical fiction in 18th century Japan to a 12-year-old literary biography with a twist.
Tinkers debuts and The Corrections graduates. Plus, a controversial new number one.
Franzen stays on top. Sebald to the Hall of Fame. Tolstoy debuts.
David Mitchell graduates to the Hall of Fame, Michael Lewis debuts, and we have a new number one.
Reading War and Peace, there is the sense of beginning one of the great experiences one might have in a lifetime. It is an enervating feeling, but also a melancholy one.
Four books debut on the list: Powell, McCann, Pevear and Volokhonsky, and Bouillier. David Mitchell vaults into the top spot.
There is at least as much intuition as intention in the process. A good translator has to follow that process far more consciously than the writer and yet come as close as possible in the new language to the instinctive "rightness" of the original. The greater the writer, the closer you want to come. That is both the challenge and the joy of it.