Friday, December 08, 2006

Books of the year

From this year's The Guardian's selection

Kiran Desai: A new translation of Roberto Bolaño's Distant Star (Harvill), pertinent once again now we're back to discussing the machinery of dictatorship, of institutionalised distrust. This book charts the destruction of bohemian life in Chile, the corruption of poetry.

Hisham Matar: Javier Marias' Written Lives (Canongate) is a wonderfully luxurious collection of short biographical pieces on authors the Spanish writer so clearly enjoys evoking. Marias's gaze is affectionate, humorous and penetrating.

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