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Top 5 reads of 2016: Fernando Sdrigotti

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Mário de Andrade (E. A. Goodland, trans), Macunaíma

A beautiful Brazilian modernist novel in an incredibly well-achieved translation into English. This books exudes fantasy, colours, smells (and ants), without ever losing the sense of being part of a universal cultural history. The perfect antidote to the essentialism of magical realism.

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Don DeLillo, White Noise

Funny and piercing critique of the senselessness of academic life, the senselessness of life. A professor of Hitler Studies tries not to think about his own death by thinking about his wife’s own thoughts about death. Supermarkets abound. It might explain Donald Trump.

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Joanna Walsh, Vertigo

At times haunting, at times sensuous, always elegantly written and precise to the point of exasperation — a prose that doesn’t narrate but performs. Short stories, we need more short stories, British literature needs short stories: luckily they have Walsh. The final story gave me a panic attack.

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Doris Lessing, The Good Terrorist

A novel about a cultish leftist group of idiots trying not to be a cultish leftist group of idiots but being a cultish leftist group of idiots. An acute reminder that one of the reasons we are losing is that we can’t shake off cultish leftist groups of idiots.

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Adolfo Bioy Casares, La invención de Morel

I come back to this book as a lover comes back to his or her first love. The main difference is that this book never disappoints me. Science fiction how it should be done. Includes a plot twist that will catch everyone unaware.

 

Fernando Sdrigotti is a contributing editor at 3:AM Magazine.

First posted: Friday, December 16th, 2016.

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