In the summer, the Leonard Lopate Show runs an ongoing series of interviews about underappreciated works of literature. Last year, thanks to the Underappreciated episodes, I discovered the Tea in the Harem by Medhi Charef and Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih. A few days ago, Lopate was discussing the mammoth, unfinished (both by myself and the author) The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil. I attempted to read this book a few years ago while on the beach in Fuerteventura, only to abandon it, slightly intimidated after 80 pages, for V.S. Naipaul’s much shorter A Bend in the River. Hopefully one day I will find my way back to The Man.
Promising works from this summer’s list include the short stories of Egyptian writer Yusuf Idris, the Slovenian novel Alamut by Vladimir Bartol, Andrei Bely’s Petersburg, and Paul von Heyse’s Children of the World, A Novel. In the past, Lopate has also featured one of my all time favorite works of Japanese fiction, The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki.