Winstonsdad Man booker shortlist 2019

I was going to not read the list and did my usual guess of what would be on the list and got it so far wrong I wanted to see what was in these books and yes I managed in a month to get nearly through them all bar hundred pages of the Can Xue novel which by the time this post is up I may have read them as I am on the road to Alnwick tomorrow and a short holiday. So my six shortlisted books are-

Drive your plow over the bones of the dead by Olga Tokarczuk

What happens when nature kicks back we see here when things start happening in the Polish hinterlands in a small community. A previous winner is different to flights and shows the depths of her writing.

The shape of Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Image result for the shape of ruins

A book that sees Vasquez as a character in his own book that is about an assignation of a Columbian politician almost like there JFK a great historical novel.

The years by Annie Ernaux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A powerful little book at post-war  France and its generation told through pictures, movies, books, events, and life it builds a vivid picture of the years that followed the war.

At Dusk by Hwang Sok-Yong

An architect is greet by his past in a story that sees two sides of lives in Modern Korea from two people that grew up in a working clas  area and went in different directions but meet at the moment there worlds both are about to change.

The Death of Murat Idrissi by Tommy Wieringa

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Maybe the shortest book on the list but for me it is the most powerful as it is about a subject that we all see on the news that of immigration and he uses four characters to encompass a wider world.

Celestial bodies by Jokha Alharthi

 

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

I am yet to review this but this family saga shows the growth of Oman through the lives of three sisters and the family of the sisters going back to the early 20th century and to now with one of the main stories being told by a relative on jumbo heading home to his family.

So here are my six books an  interesting list of books I have discovered three maybe four books that have passed me by. What are your thoughts on the books on the list ?

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At Dusk by Hwang Sok-yong

At dusk by Hwang Sok-yong

Korean fiction

original title – 해질 무렵

Translator – Sora Kim-Russell

Source – personnel copy

One of the nice things that have come about from the longlist. It has given me a chance to revisit three writers that have featured before on the blog. This is the second visit I featured Hwang Sok-yong nine years ago. The book ” the guest”  was one of the earliest reviews on the blog when I read that book I liked it but didn’t fall in love with it. But I have since struggled with finding Korean fiction either twee with the folk-like tales of Salmon or Hen dreaming of better things. Then there have been other books that I haven’t connected with. Until now the only one before this was please look after mother and I found this is a different story but it is the same tale of Korea that is the changing face of modern Korea.

It was mere coincidence that I had studied architecture and made a career of it and that Byeonggu had come to own a costruction company, but after meeting again in our forties, we were like hand in glove. Because we needed each other.

Of course, we all like to think that our own stories of difficult childhoods and overcoming adversity are the stuff of tragic epics, but they’re never really worth bragging about. Talking about it is pointless as telling youngsters that they’ve never known true hunger, that they don’t know what it is like to be the hungry kid with no lunch trying to fill his empty stomach at the drinking fountain.

Park partner the one that cause him the trouble and how he dragged himself up her in a neat passage.

We meet Park Minwoo if there was a poster boy for what you could do with your life in Modern Korea. This guy would be if he is at the forefront of making modern Korea as an Architect. He is one of those who are making bright shiny Korea and is good at his work so is an in-demand man for designing the future. He has maybe grown too far. The company he runs is in trouble. The buildings he has been asked to design may not be built but are just there to draw in peoples money in.  This leads Park to rethink his present and his past along with the fact an Old flame Cha Soona. The chapters fall with Parks story in the now and Cha’s story of her and Pask’s younger years. She grew up on what was then the edge of the city and worked in a shop a time when people were the son of this man or daughter of such a man in these case a noodle maker and fishcake maker this harks back to a simpler time. She loved acting literature and books. She had dreams but we see her life now in a tiny apartment. the book draws the past and the present together. From the fact that Park’s wife and child now settled outside Korea. Too Cha living in a small apartment in one of his building as Park meets the ghost of his past in the place where he grew which his building have eaten up.

When my younger brother and I got home from school, we snacked on the torn fishcakes, still warm from the fryer. Once our hunger was sated, we’d laugh and point at each other’s greasymouths. My mother would wrap up the rest of the torn fishcake from that day and send us out to deliver them to places she owed favoursto or anyewhere else that she needed to stay on the good side of. That meant places like the tiny shack inhabited by the elderly man who fetch water from the public tap for us and the other vendors in the marketplace, the garbage collectors station, the police box and so on

Park and his brother handing out the left overs to the community to keep it runninga time now gone and habits now dead.

Now, this is a book that like Please look after mother did that mixes what Korea was with what Korea is. I keep thing back on my recent watching of Tokyo-ga Wim Wenders ode to the Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu which he said Ozu tried to capture in his films the downfall of Japanese society and this is what Sok-yong is doing here with Korean society and the world people lived in from the simple age when people knew every one til you end up like Park lost in the clouds or cha lost in a small apartment with just two stip lights for company. This uses the twin narratives well as the book comes to the end you see the two narrators drawing closer till the end. I am liking this list for the fact I have discovered books that had past me by in the last year.  But also the books are all quite short this took me a little over a day and I am already well into the next on the list. it’s hard to say where this will end up I found it clever using the twin stories and loved some of the use of names like the fishcake makers son. Then it is just a simple tale.

Man booker international longlist 2019

 

  • Jokha Alharthi (Arabic / Omani),  Marilyn Booth, Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press Ltd
  • Can Xue (Chinese / Chinese), Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, Love In The New Millennium (Yale University Press)
  • Annie Ernaux (French / French), Alison L. Strayer, The Years (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  • Hwang Sok-yong (Korean / Korean), Sora Kim-Russell, At Dusk (Scribe, UK)
  • Mazen Maarouf (Arabic / Icelandic and Palestinian), Jonathan Wright, Jokes For The Gunmen (Granta, Portobello Books)
  • Hubert Mingarelli (French / French), Sam Taylor, Four Soldiers (Granta, Portobello Books)
  • Marion Poschmann (German / German), Jen Calleja, The Pine Islands (Profile Books, Serpent’s Tail)
  • Samanta Schweblin (Spanish / Argentine and Italian), Megan McDowell, Mouthful Of Birds (Oneworld)
  • Sara Stridsberg (Swedish / Swedish), Deborah Bragan-Turner, The Faculty Of Dreams (Quercus, MacLehose Press)
  • Olga Tokarczuk (Polish / Polish), Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  • Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Spanish / Colombian), Anne McLean, The Shape Of The Ruins (Quercus, MacLehose Press)
  • Tommy Wieringa (Dutch / Dutch), Sam Garrett, The Death Of Murat Idrissi (Scribe, UK)
  • Alia Trabucco Zeran (Spanish / Chilean and Italian), Sophie Hughes, The Remainder (And Other Stories)

I didn’t get any right and a quick check of my library last night and the funds being low I’ll not be covering much over the long list well that’s what I thought last night but in the cold light of day I have managed to find second-hand copies of four books and only have the Can Xue Annie Ernaux and Marion Poschmann the later isn’t out yet.  I have reviewed two of the book have one more from the library at home and have order the other two my library has so after thinking last night it was a desperate situation it isn’t so bad three quarters is reasonable for now.

Winstonsdad Annual Man Booker prediction post

I have let the days lip by mainly as I have just worked four 12 and half hours shifts in the last five days I have just got home and have decided too do my man booker dozen this year it will be nine books I have read and mostly reviewed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I have chosen first the one I have read but not reviewed and the first of two books that sees the end of a series. It is a huge book that rambles on and follows the time the first of the series comes out and has some large digressions around the title and some other writers I like it but missed reviewing it. My reason the end of epic series an Epic book from a writer that is overhyped but so readable when you read him he makes the mundane so compelling.

 

Nocilla Lab by Agustin Fernandez Mallo

The second book also sees the end of a series this one is the end of a trilogy this has three stories and all are different styles of writing and was to approach prose like the rest of the series it shows how Mallo is on the wave of new writers from Spain.This is one of two from Fitzcarrldo.MY reason pushing the boundaries and experimenting with what stories do using various styles

Tell them of Battles, kings, and Elephants by Mathias Enard

A short novel that images what would happen if Michelangelo had gone to Constantinople to design a bridge to go over the Golden horn and he also falls for the East another slice of West meets east from Enard. My reason  a clever reimagining of history

My Name Is Adam_TPB.jpg

 

 

My name is Adam by Elias Khoury 

A writer called Elias Khoury discovers a manuscript from a man he briefly meets and it is about a piece of history from the other side he wrote in an earlier book. A writer viewing his homeland from the other side in a way.

 

Among the lost by Emilano Monge 

A Mexican novel about the hinterland that is the people crossing the border reimagines as hell like the world through the eyes of two lovers as the let you into their horrific world. My reason an interesting hell like vision of the journey of the trafficked in Mexico and those who do the trafficking

 

ResistanceJulian.jpg

Resistance by Julian Fuks

The tale of two brothers who are the kids of a family that had to quit Argentina and move to Brazil this is the first of two books from charco I have chosen they have been bring some interesting books out in the last year. My reason this is is partly Fuks own personal hostory he is the son of exiles as well.

Image result for trout belly up rodrigo

These interlocking stories follow a man trying to set up a trout fishery in the middle of the Guatemalan countryside away from the violence of the cities there. Another gem from Charo press My reason compelling stories that show a gritty world of the trout farm and those connected to it.

 

Published on 24 September 2018, paperback original with flaps, 180x120, 115 pages

Now, now, Louison By Jean Fremon

A close friend of Louise Bourgeois images here life piece bits he got to knew here over the year he showed her works. MY reason from a small press this is the reason I love translated fiction those unusual gems that small publisher bring out.

 

The Capital

The capital by Robert Menasse 

An EU bureaucrat for culture is given a job to celebrate culture in Europe as well as a number of stories that all link together. My reason a wonderful satire on Europe and the city at the heart of it

My three wild card books I havent read but feel may be on the list

Tentacle by Rita Indiana

Vernon Subtext two by Virginie Despentes

White shadow  by Roy Jacobson

I may read the list when it comes out on Wednesday it depends on what is on the list and what finds I have to buy the books on the list.

 

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