Shane Weller’s The Idea of Europe, hampered by an unconscious form of Euroscepticism, suggests that British critics are still not ready to listen to their neighbors.
Diana Darke’s stumbling cultural critique of Islamic architecture, Stealing from the Saracens, shows how desperately Europe needs its own anti-racist language.
With Girls Against God, avant-garde musician Jenny Hval gives us a semi-autobiographical text that, like the metalhead teen she describes, won't abide by any rules.
Marie-Janine Calic's history of Southeastern Europe is undeniably well-researched, but it's also a cumbersome reading experience for anyone but the specialist.
Yannick Haenel's Hold Fast Your Crown is shocking, frustrating, elating, and among the best books published in France for decades.
There is a lot of enjoyable sleight of hand in de Kerangal's The Cook, but ultimately the author fails to engage with the questions it raises.
C.D. Rose's novel is as striking for its achievements as it is for its failures, but ultimately the whole exercise feels rather inessential.