New Directions

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A bildungsroman like no other, this fecund, funky brew evokes a memorable era of possibility and perplexity, while sounding the obscure depths of love, sacrifice, and selfhood.

Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character

It’s been said that Macunaíma put the magic in magical realism. Whatever its progeny may be, Andrade’s weird and wondrous tour de force is that rarity: a truly original masterpiece, and one deserving a place in any library of world literature.


Aira creates a verisimilar scenario despite its unlikelihood that’s not quite as rambling as his other works. Readers familiar with his style will feel at home with the philosophical digressions that form the nucleus of the text, but the ending nevertheless disappoints.

The Life Before Us

Tackling matters of life and death with disarming and often hilarious irreverence, Gary’s novel is a joy to read, even when it makes you cry.

Scattered All Over the Earth

As the smart, ever-inventive Tawada reveals, borders and languages may change, but the need to connect endures.

The Bloater

Long a cult rarity owing to Tonks’s subsequent religious conversion and renunciation of her writing, the revival of this beguiling 1967 novel restores a truly original voice to the shelves; a must.

The Wall

Haushofer’s thought-provoking masterpiece stands as a touchstone for popular literary post-apocalypses by such authors as Emily St. John Mandel and Ling Ma and is certain to be a life-changing read for many.

Too Much of Life: The Complete Crônicas

An excellent collection for readers who enjoy commentaries and observations from a wise, entertaining, realistic writer. Good choice for readers who enjoy essays by Anne Lamott and Ann Patchett.

Double Trio: Tej Bet, So’s Notice, Nerve Church

At nearly one thousand pages, this work demands no small investment of time, attention, and, frankly, endurance, but immediate sonic amenities abound (“Inchworm, intaglio, tangency’s / regress”), and Mackey’s gift for deep aphorism (“We were / each only our lone apocalypse”) will reward even brief encounters with this ambitious text.

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