Reading list n°4: Book Recommendations from Tasja Dorkofikis, reader & festival curator for Bibliotopia

Reading list n°4: Book Recommendations from Tasja Dorkofikis, reader & festival curator for Bibliotopia


“The Past” by Tessa Hadley 

Psychologically astute, subtle and generous, Tessa Hadley has become one of the best observers of contemporary families and relationships. The Past is a story of three sisters, their brother and other assorted family members during a three-week long holiday in the house they inherited and which they will need to sell. The past invades the present, tensions mount and subside, secrets are revealed. The Past is tender, warm and accepting of human failings – a highly enjoyable and rich study of human nature.


“The Argonauts” by Maggie Nelson 

A memoir from one of America’s most interesting writers. The Argonauts is a luminous and ever-surprising examination of identity, gender, freedom and love. It follows the love story between Maggie and artist Harry Dodge, her gender fluid partner, as well as Maggie’s developing pregnancy. Provocative, precise and fearless, it challenges many assumptions about family and mothering, and does so with elegance, eloquence and a generous heart. 


“Lanny” by Max Porter 

A joyous mix of poetry and prose, a fable, a dramatic chorus and a novel combined. Lanny is curious little boy growing up in a small rural community. Max Porter’s anarchic and surprising novel follows the life of a village with its idiosyncratic characters, both human and mythical. Hugely inventive stylistically and bold in its fusion of themes, Lanny looks, amongst other things, at the idea of Englishness, a human’s place within nature and the power of myths. 


“Chasing the King of Hearts” Hanna Krall 

Chasing the King of Hearts flows the story of Izolda Rozenberg, a Jewish woman who, able to pass as a blonde Pole, spends the whole war trying to save the life of her Jewish husband who was taken to Mauthausen concentration camp. This real-life love story reads like the most dramatic of novels; Izolda gets arrested many times, travels across Europe and recalls events vividly and with telling detail. The book provides an insight into the work of Hanna Krall, who, together with Ryszard Kapuscinski, inspired the whole school of Polish reportage writing.