Book tour: In search of contemporary European authors

In addition to touring musically I plan to read one book by an author from each country we’re touring through for our 2015 EU tour.


Contemporary authors in Europe

It’s easy to guess why this is of interest – rather than just passing through a culture, reading its authors allows me to jump into its rivers (with bathing suit), walk along its twisted canals, talk to its people, and climb on historic hillsides with a few more guideposts. Preferably grumpy misanthropic guideposts.  Which brings me to…

books in Europe
Reading my way through Europe

Here’s a few things I’m hoping for in each author:

  • Contemporary (mid-20th or … this century)
  • Fiction or non-fiction, but prefer fiction
  • Well-known enough for an English translation
  • Book carries the culture – that is, to some degree, the subject is the author’s country (as with Kundera and Kazantzakis)
  • Underrepresented authors (woman, other types of minorities and misfits in country) but all ideas welcome


Kazantzakis (center) with Albert Schweitzer (left) and wife Eleni


Our route with author ideas

  1. England: As an English major, I’ve got most of historical England covered, but would love more contemporary suggestions.
  2. France: (Have already read Proust, Sartre, [Miller (US)], Simon de Beauvoir, Hugo…etc). Suggestion #1 (thanks Istvan!): The Moon and Sixpence by Somerset Maugham – Free download!  Suggestion #2 (post-tour) – (thanks David Fellerath!): Soumission by Michel Houellebecq (to be translated into English in September)
  3. Holland/Netherlands: ?
  4. Germany: ? (I read some Hesse)
  5. Czech Republic:  Milan Kundera. DONE!  Other suggestions welcome.
  6. Austria: ?
  7. Hungary: One Minute Stories by István Örkény  (thank to band Anton Vezuv for suggestion!)
  8. Romania: ?
  9. Bulgaria: ?
  10. Greece: Nikos Kazantzakis (Done!), Cavafy (Done!) – but would love other suggestions – women authors?

I’ll be posting short reviews as I read them.  Appreciate the ideas very much!