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neonez's avatar

Any suggestions for a literary fiction novel around 150 pages?

Asked by neonez (389points) February 16th, 2008
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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Wm Faulkner’s THE BEAR is a short novel, and certainly considered one of the masterpieces of Amer. Lit. Henry James, Edith Wharton, Nathanael West, John Steinbeck, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty also wrote shortish fiction. Prob. the stories of Flannery O’Connor are too short and her novels too long, but she is one weird and fascinating master of the language.

Pagination depends on font size….

Jonsonite's avatar

For a 150 page literary fiction novel, I would suggest the first fourth of Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. The book is 672 pages, I believe, and when I read it I read it in small chunks over the course of a year or so.

It’s magical realism set in a strange and wonderful alternate New York City and its surrounds.

I don’t usually go in for anything literary, and I found it delightful.

mirza's avatar

The Stranger’ by Albert Camus . ”It is one of the best-known examples of absurdist fiction, and widely considered to be one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century

mirza's avatar

alternatively, The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy or Motorcycle Diaires by Ernesto Che Guevara

gailcalled's avatar

Can your novel be in translation? The Stranger, BTW, is written in easy French and can be read in the original if you’ve studied the language for several years only. First two lines;

“Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-ĂȘtre hier, je ne sais pas.”

neonez's avatar

I’ve taken french for a few years now but I’m not quite at the fluency required for reading a whole novel. The classes have been a bit slow and I’m not one for memorization (read:lazy :D)

I’m pretty open to anything in the general literary fiction category but I can see how translations could take away the subtleties that can really make or break a novel. I’m only doing a quick essay on it though so I wouldn’t really have the space (or the patience) to discuss the subtle details.

“Today, mom is dead. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know” :)

neonez's avatar

I’m leaning toward The Death of Ivan Ilyich at this point

gailcalled's avatar

@neo-Good choice. Now, on to French usage….

“Maman est morte” means, indeed, “Ma is dead.” But insert “aujourd’hui” and it means, “Today ma died.” Maybe @Mulot from Nancy can explain.

neonez's avatar

I see. That is a bit odd :)

mirza's avatar

I don’t speak french but the actual translation of the first paragraph on my book:
Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.’ That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday

gailcalled's avatar

@Mirza: yours is the M. Ward translation. There are two others….Stuart Gilbert and Laredo, which vary only slightly. And Maman is Mom, Mum, Ma…But note how short Camus’ sentences are. (And only 117 pages).

mirza's avatar

@gailcalled: thanks for the correction

Anyways, if you are reading or have read The Stranger, you should also check out this other essay by Camus titled The Myth of Sisyphus which sort of correlates with The Stranger

mdlukas's avatar

Melville House is a great publisher with a novella series:

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