Andrés Neuman’s Favorite Reads from 2011

Andrés Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has a degree in Spanish philology from the University of Granada. Neuman was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogotá-39 list. Traveler of the Century, which will be published by FSG in March, was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain’s two most prestigious literary awards.

In French:

Un assassin blanc comme neige (A Murderer So White as Snow) by ­Christian Bobin
Can a novelist be a poet? Is it possible to narrate nothing and try to say everything? Bobin usually manages it.

In Spanish (or translated into):

Elsa Drucaroff, Los prisioneros de la torre. Política, relatos y jóvenes en la postdictadura (The Prisoners in the Tower: Politics, Stories, and Young Writers After the Dictatorship) by Elsa Drucaroff
An impressive research on how Argentinian dictatorship and 70’s political commitment affected to the following generations of writers, who (apparently) started to work on democracy.

El espía (The Spy) by Justo Navarro
Was Ezra Pound a double agent during the Second World War? Was he a character of himself? This novel imagines and thinks about an answer.

La mano invisible (The Invisible Hand) by Isaac Rosa
What is work for? Are we workers part of a sort of exploitative reality show? With a little of Kafka’s help, the present novel develops these and other unpleasant questions.

Fenómenos de circo (Circus Phenomena) by Ana María Shua
Another witty series, between the astonishment and the circus, by this contemporary master of micro-fiction.

Deshielo a mediodía (Midday Thaw) by Tomas Tranströmer
Third book translated into Spanish of this outstanding poet. What is the point of such a thing as a Nobel Prize? Maybe to (re)discover these kind of authors. Charles Simic is waiting too.

Fronteras del lenguaje (Language Borders) by Uljana Wolf
First book ever published in Spanish by this young and brilliant German poet, always able to mix emotion and experiment.

In English:

Pulse by Julian Barnes
We don’t know if this is his finest book, but what the hell: his short stories are great too, and we still remember Flaubert’s Parrot, and he definitely deserved a Booker.

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
No, he didn’t finish it, ok. But in fact all his jests were infinite! I wish I didn’t read Girl with Curious Hair, so I could read it again for the first time.

The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume 2, 1941-1956 edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, and Dan Gunn
What happens with our mother tongue when we begin to write in a foreign language? Beckett knew it well–and revealed it beautifully to his friends.

All Authors’ and Editors’ Favorite Reads of 2011

The Introduction