The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction

M. A. Orthofer

Columbia University Press

The <i>Complete Review</i> Guide to Contemporary World Fiction

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Pub Date: April 2016

ISBN: 9780231146753

496 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $27.95£24.00

Pub Date: April 2016

ISBN: 9780231146746

496 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£75.00

Pub Date: April 2016

ISBN: 9780231518505

496 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $26.99£23.00

The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction

M. A. Orthofer

Columbia University Press

This user-friendly resource is the perfect reference for English-language readers who are eager to explore fiction from around the world. Profiling hundreds of titles and authors from 1945 to today, with an emphasis on fiction published in the past two decades, this guide introduces the styles, trends, and genres of the world's literatures, from Scandinavian crime thrillers and cutting-edge Chinese works to Latin American narco-fiction and award-winning French novels.

The book's critical selection of titles defines the arc of a country's literary development. Entries illuminate the fiction of individual nations, cultures, and peoples, while concise biographies sketch the careers of noteworthy authors. Compiled by M. A. Orthofer, an avid book reviewer and the founder of the literary review site the Complete Review, this reference is perfect for readers who wish to expand their reading choices and knowledge of contemporary world fiction.

The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction offers a bird's-eye view of titles and authors from everywhere—a book overfull with reminders of why we love to read international fiction. Keep it close by.

Robert Con Davis-Udiano, executive director, World Literature Today

M. A. Orthofer has done more to bring literature in translation to America than perhaps any other individual. The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction will introduce more new worlds to you than any other book on the market.

Tyler Cowen, George Mason University

We live in an age of paradoxes: The global internet allows us to communicate with each other on a level unknown to mankind a few decades before. On the other hand there are more than 6000 different languages on this planet – 6000 barriers to mutual understanding. Although English has become the lingua franca in science, we know very little about the cultural self-interpretation of these numerous language-groups. One of the traditional and proven vessels of cultural self-identification is fictional literature. M.A. Orthofer's The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction opens a welcome window to the wide literary world for all readers of English, who depend on the efforts of translators. His guide will encourage its readers to venture abroad while reading - staying at home or in a library.

Michael Naumann, Director of the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin, former commissioner of culture of Germany, and founder of Metropolitan Books in New York.

A relaxed, riverine guide through the main currents of international writing, with sections for more than a hundred countries on six continents.

Karan Mahajan, Page-Turner blog, The New Yorker

Highly recommended to avid readers of fiction.

Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction is that very rare thing: an extraordinarily detailed book where the information is easily accessed and understood. It is a splendid reference, a dependable guide, and a rich map of the world through its books.

Jaya Bhattacharji Rose,

Highly recommended.


An amazingly comprehensive and informative work.

Marginal Revolution

The most complete resource for readers of a transnational bent, interested in further expanding their horizons.

Michael LaPointe, Times Literary Supplement

The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction, a distillation of Orthofer's prodigious website, provides précis introductions to an astounding range of foreign and translated literature.... As a reference to writers rarely discussed in the United States, Orthofer's guide is invaluable, and just as importantly, it capably defends the "genre" of world literature.

Sam Sacks, Open Letters Monthly

A wide-ranging reference work exploring the world's literary wonders.

Tony's Reading List
France, Belgium, and Switzerland
Spain and Portugal
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
Netherlands and Belgium
Baltic States
Eastern Europe I
Eastern Europe II
Russia, Soviet Union, and Central Asia
United Kingdom and Ireland
Sub-Saharan Africa
Southern Africa
Central Africa
East Africa
West Africa
Lusophone Africa
North Africa, Middle East, and Turkey
Arabic-Speaking Countries
Iran and Afghanistan
Indian Subcontinent
Southeast Asia I
Southeast Asia II
China, Tibet, and Taiwan
South Korea and North Korea
Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific
Latin America
South America
Mexico and Central America
North America
United States and Canada
Appendix 1. Translation into English, by the Numbers
Appendix 2. Supplemental Resources

Read the introduction:

  • Read / listen to an interview with the author

About the Author

M. A. Orthofer is the founder, managing editor, and lead contributor to the Complete Review and its blog The Literary Saloon. Launched in 1999, the Complete Review has been praised by the Times Literary Supplement, Wired, and the New York Times Book Review, which called the site "one of the best literary destinations on the Web." Orthofer has also served as judge for the Best Translated Book Award and the Austrian Cultural Forum's ACF Translation Prize, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.