Even though I see myself as primarily a reader of nonfiction, over the last few years I’ve tried to branch out by reading a little fiction. Whenever I do, it seems like the fiction I read tends to by authors from outside the United States. 2013 was no exception because what little fiction I did read, almost all of it was international.
In keeping with the theme of my previous post, here’s a list of my favorite international fiction from 2013. In no particular order of preference, here are the winners.
- Horses of God by Morocco
- Budapest Noir by Vilmos Kondor – Hungary
- Pull Yourself Together by Thomas Glavinic – Austria
- The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare – Albania
- Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz – Israel
Like any best of list, there’s bound to be a few honorable mentions. Since I didn’t read a lot of fiction during 2013 I had to limit my list to just five winners. Therefore, I had to leave off The Silence and the Roar by Syrian writer Nihad Sirees. I also had to leave off Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris because even though she once lived in Saudi Arabia, she’s still an American.
Even harder than having to leave two very good novels off my list is the task of declaring an overall winner. If I had to select one book from the above list of five as my favorite work of international fiction I would choose Glavinic’s Pull Yourself Together. I found his novel creative, irreverent and darkly funny. It narrowly beat out Horses of God in a photo finish.