Literature and War Readalong 2011

Since the days of Voltaire’s Candide and even before (Grimmelshausen’s Simplicissimus or Homer’s Illiad….), war has had a prominent place in literature.

I recently had a look at my TBR piles and realized I would easily come up with 12 books centering on one war or the other. I ruled out quite a few books, like Matterhorn, The Thin Red Line and Catch 22, as they were by far too long. I hope that much more people will feel like participating, if the books are not too chunky. The only really substantial one I included is Elsa Morante’s La Storia aka History. As you can see, there are always a few novels on the same war following each other.

I would like to post on the chosen books on the last Friday of every month which leaves us with the following dates.

January, Friday 28

Susan Hill: Strange Meeting (UK), WWI, 192 pages

February, Friday 25

Jennifer Johnston: How Many Miles to Babylon? (Ireland), WWI, 156 pages

March, Friday 25

Rebecca West: The Return of the Soldier (UK), WWI, 92 pages

April, Friday 29

Carol Ann Lee: The Winter of the World (UK), WWI, 316

May, Friday 27

Shusaku Endo: The Sea and Poiso aka Umi to dokuyaku (Japan), WWII, 167 pages

June, Friday 24

Primo Levi: If this is a man aka Se questo è un uomo (Italy), WWII, 180 pages

July, Friday 29

Marguerite Duras: Hiroshima, mon amour (France), WWII, 155 pages

August, Friday 26

Elsa Morante: History aka La Storia (Italy), WWII, 768 pages

September, Friday 30

Tim O’Brien: The Things They Carried (US), Vietnam, 256 pages

October, Friday 28

Tatjana Soli: The Lotus Eaters (US), Vietnam, 400 pages

November, Friday 25

Michael Shaara: The Killer Angels (US), American Civil War, 416 pages

December, Friday 30

Charles Frazier: Cold Mountain (US), American Civil War, 448 pages

I hope that  some of you will participate in reading the one or the other, or even all of them. All the books are available in English, apart from Hiroshima, mon amour. Should anyone feel like participating anyway, I suggest you watch the movie instead as the book is actually a script.

I created a page that will be accessible at all times. You can always leave comments. If you are planning on reading along and want to post as well, leave the comment in advance on the page so I can add your link to the post. Alternatively you can always add the link in the comments section.

I am really looking forward to this and hope that others might enjoy the idea as well.