New Project: Novellarama

I’ve decided that for my Endless Reads project 2015 I am going to read as many novellas as I can. Slim little pieces, tender weird harrowing classic innovative bright calloused intriguing lyrical stark books under 150 pages long (though I’d prefer around the 100 page mark). I have read shamefully few novellas, and having just written one and hoping to write more, I really ought to know the territory a little better.


To that end, I’ve started a new shelf on my Goodreads called Novellarama – if you aren’t friends with me already and you are on Goodreads, please send a request! That way you can recommend books to me (which I shall try to buy from places other than Amazon, to mildly scupper its having snaffled up Goodreads recently).


I’d love as many recommendations as you have to offer – that way I can pick and choose for a whole year. Top of the list so far are:


Four Novels, by Marguerite Duras, The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa, Toni Morrison’s Home, Ordinary Love and Good Will by Jane Smiley, a collection of novellas by Deborah Levy, and Ottessa Moshfegh’s McGlue. There are many more on the list. Donations welcome, if you happen to have them lying around (or want to swap books with me).


Novellarama will start on the 1st of January and hopefully result in a spate of equally tiny reviews for you to enjoy. If anyone else is joining in I will link to your blog periodically and peer at what you’ve enjoyed.



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4 responses to “New Project: Novellarama

  1. Well, my taste isn’t the same as yours, but:

    The Lover is wonderful. I assume it’s included in your Duras collection.

    Aura by Carlos Fuentes. It’s about 75 pages long. There’s also the collection Constancia and other stories for Virgins: five stories on the boundary of short story and novella – more than 50 pages, less than 100.

    Ghosts by Cesar Aira. Somewhere else I called it “philosophical meanderings disguised as a novel” — it’s pretty cerebral, but it does have a few really beautiful visual scenes scattered throughout. About 139 pages. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the ending (“what does it mean??”), but I liked it while I read it.

    Nabokov’s The Eye.

    Not sure if it fits your definition of contemporary, but I’ve always liked Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

    • Thanks for all of these! I believe The Lover is included in the collection but almost all of these I haven’t heard of – including the Nabokov. I hadn’t realised he’d written a novella.

  2. Jeff

    Good idea. Gets you that sense of accomplishment that a large work can withhold. I’ve got The Lover on my list – funnily enough, as I read the beginning of your post, Practicalities came to mind, but only as something I’d recommend as a Duras read because, short as it is, it’s not exactly a novella.

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