(Reviewed by J.D. Jung)
As an aficionado of contemporary world fiction, I’m always on a quest to discover more works translated into English. The internet is a great resource, but I spend too much time desperately trying to find authors like ones I’ve enjoyed in the past. After all that work, I usually come up empty. Also, I want to discover new books that I may enjoy. But how can I explore unique and diverse literature if I don’t know what I’m looking for in the first place?
So I had high hopes when I received The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction. I can honestly say that this book exceeded my expectations.
The guide is organized geographically with books and authors arranged by nation and continent. It also gives a literary overview of the region and how political and sociological factors affect the literature. Most of the work is post WWII, but significant literary traditions prior to that are discussed.
This is not just a reference guide. The introduction explains why we don’t see more world literature translated into English and problems with translated works. There is also a section on literary awards and their history and significance.
You may think that guides such as these will become outdated quickly due to new books being published. However, The Complete Guide to Contemporary World fiction serves as a springboard to seeking out and understanding foreign literature. Also, there are numerous recommended online resources to keep you current and help with your search for outstanding fiction. In fact, I have already bookmarked many of them.
The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction is a resource that I will be referencing often. I highly recommend this to all readers who want to expand their knowledge of the vast literary world.