The November Novella Challenge starts here and, for once, I am announcing my reading plans ahead of time – because if I don’t, I’ll divert and I’ll acquire more books …. and I really, really,really don’t need to. Except there is a new edition of one of my favourite books of all time being published at the end of this month. I’ll keep you guessing for now but I will reward myself once I’ve completed this list.
For the purpose of this challenge, a novella is a single story between 60 and 160 pages long.
This is the plan. I live in Scotland, so this world tour starts and ends with Scottish authors. Perhaps we can to meet up along the way …
From left to right:
1. The Island – R J Price (Scotland)
2. Aquis Submersus – Theodor Storm (Germany) (From the NYRB edition of “The Rider of The White Horse”. )
3. Visitation – Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)
(As it’s New York Review of Books Reading Week, I’m making a quick diversion into Belgium to visit Georges Simenon and his Red Lights.)
4. Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman – Friedrich Christian Delius (Switzerland, set in Italy)
5. A Castle in Romagna – Igor Stiks (Bosnia, also set in Italy)
(While in Italy, it seems churlish not to read Thomas Mann’s Death In Venice ……)
6. Gasoline – Quim Monzo (Spain)
7. Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness (Poland, set in Africa)
(Got to read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart now!)
All those diversions, no wonder I didn’t finish in November. As we go into December, I’m now crossing the Atlantic …….
8. Bonsai – Alejandro Zambra (Chile)
9. Chronicle of A Death Foretold – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)
10. Alphabet of the Night – Jean-Euphele Milce (Haiti)
11. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton (USA)
12. My Life – Anton Chekhov (Russia)
13. Faustine – Emma Tennant (Scotland)
13 novellas, authors from 11 countries, books from 12 publishers. That should satisfy my literary wanderlust for a while. So if I go missing in the meantime, at least you’ll know where I am.