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Whenever we get to this time of year, marked, as it is, by reflection and reminiscences of the past 12 months, we always find ourselves thinking the same thing: At least there was good stuff to read. This annual realization is no small thing; we don't take for granted that there is no such thing as a bad year for books. (And even if there were, we would happily spend a solid 365 days reading the best books of...
Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan translated by Annie Tucker (New Directions)Some of the world’s best literature is born from its worst tragedies, and tragedies don’t come much worse than the ones that befell Indonesia in the 20th century. For 300 years, the islands were the base of the Dutch East India Company, until they were occupied by Japan during World War II. (Here’s an indication of how the Indonesians felt about being a...

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