Second World War fiction

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An Untouched House by Willem Frederik Hermans (transl. David Colmer): The folly of war

If you want an introduction to literature from around the world, much of it hardly known to English speakers but often celebrated in its country of origin, you might like to keep an eye on Pushkin Press’s list. Willem Frederik Hermans’ An Untouched House is a fine example. Set towards the end of the Second …

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Of Love and Other Wars by Sophie Hardach: A different sort of war novel

There’s an awful lot of war around at the moment. Sadly, the real kind is always with us but it seems to be more widespread in fiction than usual, an inevitable result of the First World War centenary I suppose. Having already reviewed Anna Hope’s Wake and Helen Dunmore’s The Lie I’d sworn off war …

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A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli (transl. Sam Taylor): Seeing the world in shades of grey

Three German soldiers – Bauer, Emmerich and an unnamed narrator – stride out into the frigid Polish winter, their minds on keeping warm and their empty stomachs. They’ve missed breakfast, determined to avoid the daily round of executions by volunteering to hunt down Jews and bring them back to the camp. Emmerich frets about his …

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