The latest addition to my website is Vladimir Lorchenkov‘s Все там будем (The Good Life Elsewhere). This Moldovan novel is a wickedly funny satire on all things Moldovan. The basic plot concerns a small village of 523 people where all the inhabitants want to emigrate to Italy, as life in their village is very grim, indeed far worse than under the Soviets. Lorchenkov viciously mocks their pitiful attempts to escape – paying 4000 euros to a travel agency, setting up a curling team which can get visas to play abroad, converting a tractor into a plane and then a submarine, starting two crusades under the local priest and, in the case of the president of Moldova, faking an air crash. Many people die in quite unpleasant ways but Lorchenkov finds it all wildly amusing as he knocks the ignorance of the peasants, the corruption of all officials, the hypocrisy of religion and the ultimate failure of his country and people. Tt is firmly in the great tradition of East European black humour and stands comparison with Hašek, Voinovich and will have you laughing – unless, of course, you are a sensitive soul.
The latest additions to my website are a novel from Moldova, a first on my site, and a novel from the United Arab Emirates, the second on my site from that country. The first is Ion Druță‘s
Thani Al-Suwaidi‘s The Diesel is much stranger book. It is written by a man who is primarily a poet and is narrated by the eponymous Diesel, a man who is very much in touch with his feminine side. It is also written in a very poetical, metaphorical style which at times makes for difficult reading but is still worth the effort, as it is a short book and definitely shows a new and interesting direction for the Arabic novel. This one is available in English from the interestingly named Antibookclub. Anyone who publishes Andrei Codrescu, editor of The Exquisite Corpse, is either brilliant or seriously deranged or, probably, both.