A few foreign books we enjoyed in 2018Posted by: Calvin Riley | Posted on: July 2, 2018
Are you the kind of person who gets a strange form of Stendhal syndrome every time you walk into a bookstore? To pass close to failing if you walk through the doors of the Book Fair? If so, you probably suffer the same pain as some of us. Here are the books by foreign authors that made our bloggers’ hearts beat in 2018. For Quebec books, come back on December, for other cultural favorites, reviews are coming, please be patient.
These choices reflect the personal preferences of “Editions du Moment” bloggers. It is not our intention to designate the “best” books of the year in an exhaustive way, and we gladly leave this mission to the critics. Our list is entirely subjective and necessarily incomplete. Tell us your favorites in the comments, and we would love to discover them in our turn!
Ending Eddy Bellegueule – Édouard Louis (Seuil)
The 21-year-old writer’s first novel is a realistic and poignant account of homophobia. We meet Eddy Bellegueule (the author’s birth name), a boy from a weak and rural background, who discovers his homosexuality, but not without difficulty. It’s a hard, violent book, sometimes on the edge of the unbearable. According to the author, everything he depicts in it he has experienced. No wonder the book was controversial.
Picasso Intimate portrait – Olivier Widmaier Picasso (Albin-Michel)
We owe this biography to Picasso’s grandson. Not having known his grandfather very well, he did not become aware of the importance of the latter after his death. It was then that he began to investigate to write this book. In this very well written and well-researched portrait, we discover a family not as dysfunctional as we might have thought. Special mention to the photo on the cover page, “the most beautiful picture of Picasso in the world” (says our colleague, a great admirer of the artist, who loved the book).
The Kingdom – Emmanuel Carrère (POL Publisher)
The French writer has once again written an ambitious and successful novel, throwing an original light on a story told a thousand times, that of the early days of Christianity. Let us recall, Carrère gives in the novel and not in the historical report; as usual, he takes certain liberties with the facts and puts himself in the scene, it is so much better. The result: a brick of more than 600 pages that addresses strangely current themes and that fascinates from beginning to end.
Just once – Alexandre Jardin (Grasset)
Did you know that the author of “Fanfan and L’Île des gauchers” loves Quebec? In this book, we feel all the love Jardin has for our beautiful province. We were pleased to find the delightful pen of this great romantic finally.
A flamboyant world – Siri Hustvedt (Southern Act)
A researcher is interested in the story of a somewhat obscure artist who recently passed away. She quickly learns that the artist was not as little known as one thought; only, it is under a male pseudonym that she had known success. The story, which reads like a thriller, is that of a fascinating investigation into the world of contemporary art. Like all of Hustvedt’s books, this one is wonderfully written (and well translated) and emanates an almost cinematographic atmosphere.
Muchachas – Katherine Pancol (Albin-Michel)
Katherine Pancol certainly makes “chick lit,” but of outstanding quality. Lovers of this kind should appreciate it. Those who have loved the author’s previous novels will be happy to find the characters, as they are when you reconnect with old friends after a long separation. The characters in question, moreover, are very well constructed, they have depth. It is a light reading that feels good, despite the dramas that inevitably punctuate the story.
Repair the living – Maylis de Kerangal (Feryane)
A poignant novel that addresses the issues of grief and, above all, organ donation with sensitivity and sensitivity. After a fatal car accident that cost their son his life, parents are faced with a difficult decision. The story demystifies organ donation in a very humane way and raises several philosophical questions surrounding this issue. In the end, we better understand the importance of signing our sun card… and we inevitably come to put our hand on our heart, to feel the beats.
The Weird – Andrew Kaufman (Alto)
In this Canadian novel tinged with humor and madness, we meet a strange family that bears his name: the Weird family. Each of the members is in the grip of a strange curse, courtesy of the clan’s ancestor. As she sees her end approaching, she decides to reunite the family members to free them from their fate. Crazy characters