Hello, readers! Welcome to another #5OnMyTBR update. The rule is relatively simple. I just have to pick five books from my to-be-read pile that fit the week’s theme.
This week’s theme: Title Starting with a ‘D’
5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!
Author: Négar Djavadi
Translator (from French): Tina Kover
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publishing Date: 2018
No. of Pages: 338
At once a sweeping saga of twentieth-century Iran and an intimate story of a young woman’s determination to create a future on her own terms, Disoriental is Négar Djavadi’s timely, passionate, and entertaining debut novel.
Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran with her mother and sisters at the age of ten to join her father in France. Now in her twenties, sitting in a fertility clinic in Paris as she awaits life-changing news, Kimiâ is inundated by memories of her ancestors, reminiscences, and family myths that reach her in unstoppable waves. Generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmlk with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her distracted but ardent parents, Sara and Darius, stalwart opponents of each political regime that has befallen them.
In this high-spirited, multigenerational tale, key moments of Iranian history punctuate a story about motherhood, family, exile, rebellion, and love. At the heart of this prize-winning international bestseller is the unforgettable Kimiâ Sadr – queer punk-rock aficionado and storyteller extraordinaire, a woman caught between the vibrant intricacies of her origins and the modern life she’s made.
Title: The Devil in the Hills
Author: Cesare Pavese
Translator (from Italian): Peter Owen Ltd.
Publishing Date: 1990
No. of Pages: 183
Cesare Pavese is now generally regarded as one of the most important writers of the century. This novel is among his best work. It is the story of a young married man, rich and self-indulgent, who has an elderly mistress, and whilst participating in the debauchery prevalent amongst his friends, nevertheless desires to lead a more useful life.
‘Is worth reading if only to get the smell and heat of summer in Turin on the hills about… makes us realise sadly how great a loss it was to modern fiction that Pavese died so young.’ ~ Sean O’Faolain
Title: Detective Story
Author: Imre Kertész
Translator (from Hungarian): Tim Wilkinson
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Publishing Date: 2008
No. of Pages: 112
As readers, we are accustomed to reading stories of war and injustice from the victims’ point of view, sympathising with their plight. In Detective Story, the tables have been turned, leaving us in the mind of a monster, as Nobel Laureate Imre Kertész plunges us into a story of the worst kind, told by a man living outside morality.
Now in prison, Antonio Martens is a torturer for the secret police of a recently defunct dictatorship. He requests and is given writing materials in his cell, and what he has to recount is his involvement in the surveillance, torture and assassination of Federigo and Enrique Salinas, a prominent father and son whose principled but passive opposition to the regime left them vulnerable to the secret police. Preying upon young Enrique’s aimless life, the secret police began to position him as a subversive and then targeted his father. Once this plan was set into motion, any means were justified to reach the regime’s chosen end – the destruction of an entire liberal class.
Inside Marten’s mind, we inhabit the rationalising world of evil and see first-hand the inherent danger of inertia during times of crisis. A slim, explosive novel of justice railroaded by malevolence, Detective Story is a warning cry for our time.
Author: Jessica Hagedorn
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 1991
No. of Pages: 251
Welcome to Manila in the turbulent period of the Philippine’s late dictator. It is a world in which American pop culture and local Filipino tradition mix flamboyantly, and gossip, storytelling, and extravagant behavior thrive.
A wildly disparate group of characters—from movie stars to waiters, from a young junkie to the richest man in the Philippines—becomes caught up in a spiral of events culminating in a beauty pageant, a film festival, and an assassination. In the center of this maelstrom is Rio, a feisty schoolgirl who will grow up to lice in America and look back with longing on the land of her youth.
Title: The Death of Jim Loney
Author: James Welch
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 1987
No. of Pages: 179
Jim Loney is a half-breed, of white and Indian parentage. He is thirty-five years old and lives in a small Montana town. He is gently going mad.
Estranged from both his community and his Indian roots, Loney drinks cheap wine alone at night, trying to discover the origins of his despair. His dreams are filled with messages of doom, and they haunt his waking hours, changing his very soul. Rhea, his lover, cannot console him; Kate, his sister, cannot penetrate his world. And the old ones watch from afar, for they know when someone’s eyes betray a terrible destiny.
In this extraordinary novel, James Welch explores the fate of a man who is a stranger in society, a stranger to himself. In spare, moving prose, Welch offers a harrowing portrait of noble, inevitable self-destruction.