Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Ten top absurd quests in fiction

Joanna Kavenna grew up in various parts of Britain, and has also lived in the USA, France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Her first book The Ice Museum was about traveling in the remote North, among other things. Her second was a novel called Inglorious, which won the Orange Award for New Writing. It was followed by a novel called The Birth of Love, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Then came her novel Come to the Edge, a satire. Kavenna's latest novel is Zed, "a blistering, satirical novel about life under a global media and tech corporation that knows exactly what we think, what we want, and what we do--before we do."

At the Guardian, Kavenna tagged ten absurd quests in fiction, including:
The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung (2009)

In a slightly sci-fi version of China, a month has disappeared from the official records and from collective memory. Old Chen, the central character (an idle, self-obsessed author who just wants to lounge around drinking Lychee Black Dragon Lattes) is persuaded by an ex, Little Xi, to find out what really happened in this month, and why the authorities want to erase it from history. A bold, exhilarating satire of the tech-totalitarianism of contemporary China.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue