REVIEW: The Irish Times reviews BEST EUROPEAN FICTION 2017

This is the eighth in the annual series of European fiction in translation. The standard ranges from very good to so-so, with narrative approaches ranging from the traditional to the experimental. Czech writer Jiri Hajicek’s Lion Cubs is mainly a dialogue between the coach of a junior soccer team and a teacher in a girls’ nursing school regarding an overnight encounter between a nursing student and a player. It gives interesting insights into the differing male and female perspectives, and the clever ending confirms much of the teacher’s suspicions. Belgian-French Stéphane Lambert’s The Two Writers is a bittersweet story of a lost opportunity for love. Danish writer Ida Jessen’s Postcard to Annie has at its heart a possible suicide and the reaction of witnesses, especially the narrator – a fascinating narrative with various unexpected twists. In Daithí Ó Muirí’s Duran (translated from the Irish by the author), a worshipping child narrator tells of the charming eponymous character, who is a ruthless killer.

The Irish Times

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