December 1, 2008 Works of humor, wisdom, supreme originality and stunning ambition top Jessa Crispin's foreign fiction list. Engage the global conversation with these five novels from five countries.
October 15, 2008 Budai boards the wrong plane and finds himself trapped in an unknown country. The comparison to Kafka is apt, but Metropole's Hungarian author Ferenc Karinthy reaches more for comedy than torment.
October 10, 2008 Jamaican-American novelist Michelle Cliff's essays — urgent, stripped of lyrical excess, discomfiting but illuminating — bear witness to a rough life that has shaped a radical, powerful and essential artist.
September 12, 2008 With a baby on the way, Tom's wife begins to act strangely. Is the menace she senses real, or madness? Novel About My Wife is tense and revealing but also surprisingly funny.
September 8, 2008 "This is an improbable but true tale." So beginsThe Lost Spy, Andrew Meier's chronicle of Cy Oggins, an American who spied for Joseph Stalin's secret service — and was probably murdered by the Soviets.
August 18, 2008 Recently reissued, Christopher Priest's 1974 sci-fi classic, Inverted World, tells the story of a city built on rails and in perpetual motion. Jessa Crispin adds up the pieces of Priest's "tightly structured puzzle" and discovers a novel that stands up to the test of time.
August 4, 2008 In The Book of Chameleons, a gecko narrator weaves fragmentary tales of invented pasts into a story of charming airiness. The prize-winning Portuguese novel is set in post-civil war Angola.
July 8, 2008 Michael Bracewell's history of Roxy Music doesn't go for conventional thinking — not about the band, and certainly not about how to write a rock biography. Instead, his new book combines art history, music theory and a smashing sense of fashion.
June 24, 2008 Set in near-future England, Sara Hall's novel describes a world in which food and resources are so scarce that all women are fitted with IUDs. But a female uprising is in the works. Jessa Crispin offers a review.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor