Best European Fiction 2011

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Overview

Best European Fiction 2011 is the second installment of an annual anthology of stories from across Europe. Edited by acclaimed Bosnian novelist and MacArthur "Genius-Award" winner Aleksandar Hemon, with a preface by Irish novelist Colum McCann, and with dozens of editorial, media, and programming partners in the U.S., UK, and Europe, the Best European Fiction series will be a window onto what's happening right now in literary scenes throughout Europe, where the next Kafka, ...

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Overview

Best European Fiction 2011 is the second installment of an annual anthology of stories from across Europe. Edited by acclaimed Bosnian novelist and MacArthur "Genius-Award" winner Aleksandar Hemon, with a preface by Irish novelist Colum McCann, and with dozens of editorial, media, and programming partners in the U.S., UK, and Europe, the Best European Fiction series will be a window onto what's happening right now in literary scenes throughout Europe, where the next Kafka, Flaubert, or Mann is waiting to be discovered.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With authors ranging from the familiar (Hilary Mantel) to the obscure (Macedonia's Blaze Minevski) to the internationally acclaimed but underappreciated in the U.S.A. (Spain's Enrique Vila-Matas; Hungary's László Krasznahorkai; Poland's Olga Tokarczuk), the second volume of this lauded series makes good on the first's promise. Zurab Lezhava's "Sex for Fridge" is the madcap story of a Georgian woman who tries to trade her body for a discount on a run-down refrigerator. Iulian Ciocan's "Auntie Frosea" takes as its depressing protagonist an impoverished Moldovan housewife whose only knowledge of the world outside her village comes from the beamed-in Brazilian soap opera she's addicted to. There's also plenty of Euro-surrealism: Olga Tokarczuk's haunting "The Ugliest Woman in the World" tells the story of a man who marries and has kids with a rather unbecoming woman, while László Krasznahorkai's "The Bill" is a nine-page, one-sentence meditation on the zone between male desire and possession. With stories from Montenegro, Cyprus, and even tiny Liechtenstein aside works from Turkey, Estonia, and most of Western Europe, this edition packs both a stylistic punch and a satisfying range. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"Best European Fiction is an exhilarating read."--Time

Dalkey Archive Press

Larry Rohter - The New York Times
“Best European Fiction 2011 is the second in what, with any luck, could turn out to be an annual series.... it is easy to appreciate what Mr. Hemon calls 'the depth and width and beauty of human experience' represented here.”
Library Journal
In only its second year, this series has become one of the most vital literary anthologies around. A whole new group of authors, introduced by editor Hemon and Irish novelist Colum McCann, is on hand to "draw the border line, then step beyond it." This year's installment increases the number of countries represented from 30 to 37 (Belarus, Cyprus, Germany, and Montenegro are among the new additions) and arranges the stories in reverse alphabetical order by country. The anthology remains best suited for browsing and cherry-picking a story or two at a time, however, so the order is inconsequential. Highlights for 2011 include a darkly comic clash of cultures by Lucian Dan Teodorovici of Romania, the musings of a Soviet female clown by Anita Konkka of Finland, a literary mystery set in an army barracks by Drago Jancar of Slovenia, and explorative feminist fiction by Verena Stefan of Switzerland. VERDICT The quality of the stories is again uniformly excellent, so readers should not be deterred by the lack of household names. A powerful story by England's Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) is the primary exception and provides a good entry point. Greece and Sweden remain absent, the latter a missed opportunity to introduce American readers to an alternative to Stieg Larsson. Maybe next year.—Forest Turner, Suffolk Cty. House of Correction Lib., Boston
Library Journal
In only its second year, this series has become one of the most vital literary anthologies around. A whole new group of authors, introduced by editor Hemon and Irish novelist Colum McCann, is on hand to "draw the border line, then step beyond it." This year's installment increases the number of countries represented from 30 to 37 (Belarus, Cyprus, Germany, and Montenegro are among the new additions) and arranges the stories in reverse alphabetical order by country. The anthology remains best suited for browsing and cherry-picking a story or two at a time, however, so the order is inconsequential. Highlights for 2011 include a darkly comic clash of cultures by Lucian Dan Teodorovici of Romania, the musings of a Soviet female clown by Anita Konkka of Finland, a literary mystery set in an army barracks by Drago Jancar of Slovenia, and explorative feminist fiction by Verena Stefan of Switzerland. VERDICT The quality of the stories is again uniformly excellent, so readers should not be deterred by the lack of household names. A powerful story by England's Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) is the primary exception and provides a good entry point. Greece and Sweden remain absent, the latter a missed opportunity to introduce American readers to an alternative to Stieg Larsson. Maybe next year.—Forest Turner, Suffolk Cty. House of Correction Lib., Boston
Larry Rohter
The underlying assumption of Best European Fiction 2011, edited by the Bosnian-born, Chicago-based writer Aleksandar Hemon, is that such a thing is indeed taking shape, in spite of longstanding cultural, linguistic and political barriers. But rather than spell out what he calls “the confrontational forms this ‘European’ writing assumed,” Mr. Hemon prefers to let the 40 stories that make up this anthology make their own argument indirectly.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564786005
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2010
  • Series: Best European Fiction Series
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 1,296,724
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Aleksandar Hemon

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, and The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for several months. While there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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