The Last Book I Loved: Microcosms

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imagedb3The book I’m reading now, Microcosms by Claudio Magris. I’m traveling in China while falling in love with a book about the tiny and strange borderlands between Croatia (Istria) and Italy. Microcosms may not be as good as Danube, Magris’ masterpiece, but it might be more charming, and more moving.  Danube deals with Mitteleuropa as he calls it, the entire area that the sinewy river covers, whereas Microcosms deals with the writer’s homeland, its territories, histories, literature, its people, and the stories that formed him.  Magris has the ability make the  bit part players of these forgotten lands sparkle off the page; he’s able to breathe life into Jason and Medea, as well as an Istrian fisherman who was able to evade conscription from Mussolini’s fascists and Tito’s communists.


Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, I, the Divine, The Hakawati, An Unnecessary Woman, the story collection, The Perv, and most recently, The Angel of History. He divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut. More from this author →