Wall Street Journal
““The collection’s diverse range of styles includes more experimental works than a typical American anthology might . . . [Mr. Hemon’s] only criteria were to include the best works from as many countries as possible.””
““Best European Fiction is an exhilarating read.””
Booklist Starred Review
““Readers for whom the expression ‘foreign literature’ means the work of Canada’s Alice Munro stand to have their eyes opened wide and their reading exposure exploded as they encounter works from places such as Croatia, Bulgaria, and Macedonia (and, yes, from more familiar terrain, such as Spain, the UK, and Russia).””
New York Times
““Best European Fiction 2010 . . . offers an appealingly diverse look at the Continent’s fiction scene.””
Starred Review - Booklist
“"Readers for whom the expression ‘foreign literature’ means the work of Canada’s Alice Munro stand to have their eyes opened wide and their reading exposure exploded as they encounter works from places such as Croatia, Bulgaria, and Macedonia (and, yes, from more familiar terrain, such as Spain, the UK, and Russia)."”
“"Best European Fiction is an exhilarating read."”
One might expect the fourth edition of this series, an instant classic, to have a celebratory sameness. But while the selections remain diverse and high quality, this new volume has a different feel from its predecessorssomewhat more meditative and spookier and noticeably concerned with the totalitarian mind-set, governmental or otherwise. Whether that reflects the current state of European writing or editor Hemon’s preoccupation while reading, the result is still engrossing. Altogether 32 countries are represented, from Iceland to Macedonia; one story is translated from Basque, while another, translated from German, is by a Turkish writer. It’s especially charming to see Tomás Mac Síomóin’s eerie, is-the-doctor-mad “Music in the Bone,” a work from Ireland that’s been translated from Irish. Other standouts include Finish Tiina Raevaara’s “My Creator, My Creation,” a dark Coppelia-like tale about what we can and cannot control; Belgian Paul Edmund’s “Grand Froid,” a sinister, absurdist story about a play’s performance that makes us rethink art vs. reality; Georgian Lasha Bugadze’s “The Sins of the Wolf,” about a reader who stubbornly insists that an author’s characters are real; and Ukrainian Tania Malyarchuk’s zany “Me and My Sacred Cow.” Dividing the stories thematically (e.g., space, memory) might have been heavy-handed but actually seems to work.
Verdict Highly recommended for discriminating readers.Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.