The English translation of Umberto Eco's debut novel The Name of the Rose (Italian 1980) first appeared thirty years ago, and it continues to delight and surprise, even after multiple readings.
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Most of the big names who did come out with novels fell flat on their faces, producing ponderous, bloated, eminently editable books (Julie Orringer, Jonathan Franzen, Jane Smiley).
What American reviewers have missed is that satire and history are coming together for the first time in McEwan's career.
Savage is highly successful, morally anchored experimental fiction. Jouet provokes fundamental rethinking of the permanent questions about the West's relation to its "savage" other.
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