Hari Kunzru

A raft of modern classics from around the globe.



Hari Kunzru's stunning debut, The Impressionist, followed a chameleon-like hero around the world. His wild new novel, Gods Without Men, makes a single desert locale its stage, as native peoples, UFO believers, and one struggling 21st-century family converge across different eras on a mysterious monument. This week, he points us to three transporting works of fiction.


Books by Hari Kunzru



Soul Mountain

By Gao Xingjian


"This book by a Chinese Nobel Prize winner is part novel, part travelogue, and partly a collection of folkloric tales. Loosely inspired by the author's false diagnosis of lung cancer, it tells the story of an unnamed narrator who wanders in search of the magical 'soul mountain' of Lingshan. It oscillates between first and second person, creating a hallucinatory sense of a subject on a spiritual quest."



Memed, My Hawk

By Yashar Kemal


"This is the bloody and lyrical story of the noble Turkish village boy Memed, who is cruelly abused by a local landowner and becomes a notorious bandit. It's an evocation of the wild landscape of Anatolia and an an old-fashioned adventure story. Until the advent of Orhan Pamuk, this novel was probably the most internationally-acclaimed work of Turkish fiction."



The Sword of Honour Trilogy

By Evelyn Waugh


"Readers love the early Waugh novels for their absurdist humour and acid social observation, but Waugh's greatest work is undoubtedly this bitter elegy for the faded glories of the Anglo-Catholic aristocracy. The picaresque story of Guy Crouchback's misadventures in the Second World War is simultaneously funny and tragic, as its hero's illusions about his class and country are punctured, one by one."

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.