Iceland is in the news for the wrong reasons- for the country’s total economic collapse. But Iceland is also the home to a very rich Nordic tradition in story telling, and the most famous name that comes to mind is that of Halldor Laxess, who wrote 51 novels in his lifetime, very few of them available in English. This is a review of one of his recently translated novels- the Great Weaver from Kashmir.
‘Reading in Spanish’ is a new blog focussed on Latin American literature. This post on the Nicaraguan writer Gioconda Belli introduces her book ‘Waslala’, a search for utopia. I recently had the chance to watch an interview with Belli though haven’t read her as yet.
Roberto Bolano’s long awaited work, the English translation of his magnum opus 2666 is finally available. Despite being a long time admirer of the Chile born novelist, I am unlikely to get to it till end of this year. Part of the reason is its length since it runs into 900 pages. Its publication was preceded by a slew of reviews in selected blogs. NYT has a review this week, though I haven’t read it (nor do I plan to till I have read the tome myself!).
Unrelated to books, this is a post on the Punjabi folk singer Tufail Niazi. I must admit that I had not even heard of the great singer from West Punjab and listening particularly to his renditions of sufi qalam has been an invigorating, even if belated, revelation.