Best New Fiction is a monthly segment dedicated to highlighting the most interesting and noteworthy releases that will be published over the next thirty days.
Nothing But Motorway
Bleak. Honest. Raw. Powerful. I have dozens of adjectives spinning through my head as I close the cover of Pascal Garnier’s novel The A26, place it down on the table beside me, lean back, breathe for what feels like the first time in ages, and sink deep into the couch in my living room. For the past ninety minutes or so I’ve felt trapped in darkness, lost in a damaged world where insanity reigns supreme and hope is nothing more than a cruel, nonexistent joke. I’m not exactly frightened by what I’ve just read, that’s not the right word, but do feel slightly unsettled. Am I sweating a little bit? Fuck. I am. The A26 has left me feeling a bit dazed, a bit off balance, and truth by told, a touch sickened. This a good thing though for it signals that ultimately the author has accomplished his desired effect. Point to Garnier. Consider my outer defenses not just breached, but utterly destroyed.
According to the Visual Guide to Translated Fiction there are 47 works being published in April that are new in translation. If you want to check out the full list go here, and then click on April.
Today we’ll take a closer look at the 8 books that have caught our attention. Okay fine, technically 9 books, because Per Petterson has both a short story collection and a novel being published in April, both of which have been translated by Don Bartlett. We’ll lump those 2 together so some other worthy titles can also be highlighted…you know, like that OTHER Don Bartlett translation that everyone is so excited about finally reading.
You can’t start a fire without a spark, or find love sitting ’round here crying over a broken heart, or something along those general lines, so let’s get to it, shall we?