BOOKS I'VE BOUGHT
AT NOON TODAY, I was at Kinokuniya, the best bookshop in the whole of Kuala Lumpur, and I bought a couple of books: four novels, a memoir and an anthology of fine writing.
Case Histories (2004) / Kate Atkinson
Private investigator Jackson Brodie, a former police officer, is adrift in Cambridgeshire amidst death, intrigue and other misfortunes. A comic novelist, Atkinson's books have been consistently entertaining.
Paradise (1994) / Abdulrazak Gurnah
India in Mind (2005) / Pankaj Mishra (ed.)
A wide-ranging hodge-podge of fine writing from J.R. Ackerley to Bruce Chatwin to Jan Morris to Gore Vidal, observing and documenting the enigma that is India in all its diversity and complexity.
Istanbul: Memories of a City (published in the U.S as Istanbul: Memories and the City) (2005) / Orhan Pamuk (trans. from the Turkish by Maureen Freely)
An amalgamation of family memoir and cultural history. I have always enjoyed the novels of Orhan Pamuk, especially My Name is Red (2001) and Snow (2004). His profound understanding of Istanbul (formerly known as Constantinople) is reflected in his fiction, and in Istanbul: Memories of a City, a passionate memoir set against the colourful backdrop of the ancient city (“ageing and impoverished city buried under the ashes of a ruined empire”), Pamuk revisits his family's history as he takes us by the hand and meanders through Istanbul's labyrinthine streets and its people. “I am attached to this city because it has made me who I am.” Maureen Freely’s superb translation results in prose that is sensuous, seductive and moving, engaging our deepest emotions.
In the Eye of the Sun (1992) / Ahdaf Soueif
The News from Paraguay (2004) / Lily Tuck
ATKINSON Kate [1951-] Novelist, short-story writer. Born in York, England. NOVELS Case Histories (2004: shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Award for the Novel); Emotionally Weird: A Comic Novel (2000); Human Croquet (1997); Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995: winner of the 1995 Whitbread First Novel and Book of the Year Awards, the 1996 Yorkshire Post Literary Award for Best First Work, and the 1996 Lire Book of the Year Award) STORIES Not the End of the World (2002) PLAYS Abandonment (2000); Nice (1996)
GURNAH Abdulrazak [1948-] Novelist. Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa. NOVELS Desertion (2005); By the Sea (2001); Admiring Silence (1996); Paradise (1994: shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize for Fiction and the 1994 Whitbread Award for Fiction); Dottie (1990); Pilgrims Way (1988); Memory of Departure (1987) EDITED Essays on African Writing 2: Contemporary Literature (1995); Essays on African Writing: A Re-evaluation (1993)
MISHRA Pankaj [1969-] Novelist, essayist, literary critic. Born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India. NOVEL The Romantics (1999: winner of the 2000 Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Book Prize for First Fiction) NONFICTION An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004) TRAVEL How to be Modern: Travels in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tibet (2006); Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (1995) EDITED India in Mind (2005); V.S. Naipaul's Literary Occasions: Essays (2003); V.S. Naipaul’s The Writer and the World: Essays (2002)
PAMUK Orhan [1952-] Novelist. Born in Istanbul, Turkey. NOVELS Snow (trans. from the Turkish, Kar—2002, by Maureen Freely) (2004); My Name is Red (trans. from the Turkish, Benim adim kirmizi—1998, by Erdag M. Göknar) (2001: winner of the 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award); The White Castle (trans. from the Turkish, Beyaz Kale—1979, by Victoria Holbrook) (1990: winner of the Independent Award for Foreign Fiction); The Black Book (trans. from the Turkish, Kara Kitap—1990, by Guneli Gun) (1994); The New Life (1997: trans. from the Turkish, Yeni Hayat—1994, by Guneli Gun) (1997); Cevdet Bey and His Sons (originally published as Cevdet Bey ve Ogullari in 1982) (1982) TRAVEL/MEMOIR Istanbul: Memories of a City (trans. from the Turkish by Maureen Freely) (2005: shortlisted for the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction and the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography)
SOUEIF Ahdaf [1950-] Novelist, short-story writer, journalist. Born in Cairo, Egypt. NOVELS The Map of Love (1999: shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize for Fiction); In the Eye of the Sun (1992) STORIES Sandpiper and Other Stories (1996); Aisha (1983: shortlisted for the 1983 Guardian Fiction Award) ESSAYS/JOURNALISM Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground (2004) TRANSLATED Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah (with Edward W. Said) (2002)
TUCK Lily [1938-] Novelist. Born Liliane Solmsen in Paris, France. NOVELS The News from Paraguay (2004: winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Fiction); Siam, or The Woman Who Shot a Man (1999: shortlisted for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction); The Woman Who Walked on Water (1996); Interviewing Matisse, or The Woman Who Died Standing Up (1991) STORIES Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived (2002)