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Topic: Most 'Off-beat

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Subject: Most 'Off-beat
Date Posted: 11/7/2014 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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It's been several months since I read a pair of books of stories that were unlike anything I'd read before.  And since that time, nothing I've read  has even come close to being the most off-beat thing I can think of ever having read.  The winner (ahem!) of that distinction is There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales, and There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories, by Ludmila Petrushevskaya.   This Russian writer has been writing for four decades, but only recently got translated into English.

I would wager that some of the participants in this Forum have encountered some pretty off-beat stuff in their eclectic reading, and it would be interesting to hear about that.

Last Edited on: 1/17/15 3:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/10/2014 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 264
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Probably The Dream of Perpetual Motion

Date Posted: 11/12/2014 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,750
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Both books of fiction that I have read in the last month:

The Summer He Didn't Die   by James Harrison     Accused of being both mysogynist[sp] and writer of unfairly dysfunctional men, he is, in my revised   
                                                               opinion not only very talented, but worth reading as in having something to say.

Between The Assassinations       by Aravind Adiga      An Indian with technique to burn. Writes prose with incredible intensity and energy.


Date Posted: 11/13/2014 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 4,173
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Between The Assassinations       by Aravind Adiga 

I have The White Tiger by that author requested. hope it gets here soon.

Date Posted: 1/17/2015 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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The two books by Ludmila Petrushevskaya that I mentioned above are now available in paperback editions, published by Penguin Books.  The first, translated by Keith Gessen and Anna Summers, appeared in 2009, and the second, in 2013.  A third selection, a trio of novellas, including The Time Is Night and Among Friends, her most controversial work of prose, was scheduled for publication in the fall of 2014.

This 75-year-old author and playwright has been writing since she was about 30 years old.   According to William Deresiewicz, writing in The Nation magazine, Petrushevskaya is "not only Russia's leading dramatist by wide agreement, she is also its leading author of fiction, the mother of contemporary women's writing in the country".  In The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Literature, only two post-Stalinist writers are given sections of their own.   She is one; the other is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Last Edited on: 1/17/15 3:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/28/2015 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, brilliant, slightly meta, intricately layered, love/ghost story.