Monday, February 12, 2007

Hisham Matar's literary top 10

Hisham Matar's first novel, In The Country of Men, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize last year. I found his literary top 10 at

Numbers 1 and 2:
1 Best short story I’ve ever read

I don’t have a ‘best’, but I do very much admire Joseph Conrad’s ‘Amy Foster’. It tells the story of a South-Slav peasant exiled in a Kentish village where everyone fears him except Amy Foster, a plain girl who eventually marries him. But when he falls ill and reverts to his mother tongue, she, too, is frightened by his foreignness. She takes their child and abandons him. He dies alone. It’s a tragic story about language, fear and loneliness.

2 Book that should be on the national curriculum:

Leo Tolstoy’s Hadji Murat for Europeans and Americans, Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa for the Middle East.
How much do I love that Tolstoy novella? I wrote a screenplay--on spec--updating it to the end of the last century.

Read Matar's list.

--Marshal Zeringue