I’m still here! Just been reading some great reviews of Belén Gopegui’s first novel, from 1993: La escala de los mapas / The Scale of Maps, in its new English translation by Mark Schafer, published by City Lights (I was at college with a Mark Schafer; I wonder if it’s the same one? He was studying Japanese back then…). Here’s Janet Potter’s take on it, and here’s Christopher Merkel’s, both at Bookslut – Potter reads it alongside Max Frisch, and Merkel reads it alongside Merce Rodoreda. Mythili G Rao writes on it too, over at Words Without Borders, comparing it with Nabokov and Borges, something which is picked up over at at By the Firelight.
I’ve never read any Gopegui myself, because she’s somewhat idiosyncratic, a committed Communist, extremely politically literate, and since I’m … um … none of those things, I’ve always been a bit afraid I won’t quite get her. These reviews, though, have convinced me to give it a go – although a bit of Googling has turned up that this Mark Schafer is definitely *not* the one who made fabulous sushi and let me watch Polish tv via his satellite back in the day!