Botswana: mind over matter

Mention the words ‘Botswana’ and ‘books’ in the same sentence these days (at least in the UK), and you’re almost certainly talking about Alexander McCall Smith. His No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series has been a smash hit since it burst on to the scene in 1999.

Unfortunately, as I discovered with Mia Couto in Mozambique, the trouble with such run-away successes, no matter how well-deserved, is that they tend to eclipse all other work from or about a particular country in the UK literary market. Their authors become the go-to wordsmiths for writing about a particular place and we forget that there might be other quite different texts out there.

This is bad for contemporary writing as it makes publishers less keen to scout for works to bring into the UK, but it takes its toll on classic literature too. There are some literary giants that we simply don’t hear about. For me Botswanan novelist Bessie Head was such a one.

Partly autobiographical, Head’s 1974 novel A Question of Power, tells the story of a mixed-race South African woman, Elizabeth, who comes to Botswana with her young son to make a new life. Desperate to shake off the abuse she witnessed and suffered in her homeland, ‘a country where people were not people at all’, she looks forward to a simpler existence filled with community life and working the land. It’s not long, however, before Elizabeth’s demons catch up with her and she is forced to confront the fact that much of the misery and sickness she grew up with has taken up residence in her own mind.

The book is one of the most powerful and vivid depictions of mental illness going. Dramatised through two characters, Dan and Sello, who come to visit Elizabeth at night, the narrative takes us through the rugged country of psychological dysfunction, charting its crushing lows and dizzying highs.

Head finds an impressive range of tangible metaphors to capture both ‘the grandeur of this view of life’ and the ‘sensation of living right inside a stinking toilet’ that accompany psychosis. So we hear how ‘a wide corridor opened up in [Elizabeth’s] mind’ and how at one point Sello appears to be ‘sitting at a switchboard plugging in the lines to all the beautiful people’, in addition to the visions of extreme violence and sexual cruelty that turn Elizabeth’s life into a waking nightmare.

Interspersed with these powerful periods of insanity are a series of interactions with the local community in which Head’s powers of observation and sense of the ridiculous combine to create a series of memorable cameo characters who all point to larger truths about the world. Chief among these is the ‘half-mad Camilla woman’, a Dutch volunteer at the community garden project Elizabeth joins who, in love with her own beneficence, is unable to look past her prejudices to meet people on their own terms. ‘Elizabeth’s nativeness form[s] the background to all her comments’ and when she comes to pronounce on Dutch literature, her true colours are revealed:

‘ “In our country culture has become so complex, this complexity is reflected in our literature. It takes a certain level of education to understand our novelists. The ordinary man cannot understand them…”


‘And she reeled off a list of authors, smilingly smug. It never occurred to her that those authors had ceased to be of any value whatsoever to their society.’

While excelling at tracing the steps by which psychotic episodes blow up and play out – the description of Elizabeth’s initial meltdown in the local radio shop, for example, is outstanding – Head makes a point of keeping the line between the real and the illusory blurred. This forces the reader to partake of Elizabeth’s bewilderment and share her conviction for much of the book than many of the things she sees are real.

This can give rise to flashes of frustration, but most readers will quickly come to trust Head’s obvious skill and give themselves over to her narrative. By the end, there can be no doubt of Head’s immense giftedness and her deserving of every bit as much recognition as other more widely read texts. An outstanding book.

A Question of Power by Bessie Head (Heinemann Publishers, 1974)

Brazil: Goethe the ‘dirty old man’

From one Portuguese-language country with very few novels available in translation we jump to another that has a whole heap of them (by British standards, at least).

With so many exciting recommendations on the list, Brazil was a tough choice. In the end, I plumped for House of the Fortunate Buddhas because of the intriguing circumstances of its inception: Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro was commissioned to write one in a series of books inspired by the seven deadly sins. I was curious to see whether a novel written to order in such a way would turn out to be any good. And I wanted to see how Ribeiro handled the vice he chose to write about: lust.

As with the other Dalkey Archive book I’ve read so far this year (Francois Emmanuel’s Invitation to a Voyage), voice is this novel’s driving force. Prompted to record her story by a terminal illness, Ribeiro’s fearless narrator, a self-confessed ‘queen of lectures’, recalls her heyday in the 1940s and 50s. She focuses on her and her friends’ many and varied sexual exploits ‘at a time when everything was more difficult for women’, attacking the social mores that straitjacket desire and force people to ‘live according to rules and patterns for which no human was made’.

This disarming frankness extends to literary conventions too. Unafraid to share her opinions on any subject, the narrator weighs into many of academia’s leading lights, calling Lacan’s work ‘con games’, Goethe ‘a real fucker who died a dirty old man’ and Freud ‘the greatest waste of genius since Plato, the son of a bitch’.

Similarly forthright about her own blindspots and limitations, she questions her own utterances and literary skill with urgency and humour. ‘This testimony isn’t a novel, it doesn’t even have a plot – although the novels of Henry James barely had one, now that I think about it,’ she says at one point.

This unflinching engagement with the world and her place in it, enables the narrator to venture confidently where others fear to tread. The narrative is filled with exceedingly graphic accounts of sex in all its forms, which succeed because they are free from the coyness amd awkwardness that send other writers fumbling for euphemisms and clichés.

Ribeiro’s ability to inhabit the female universe is impressive. The voice is powerful, believable and peppered with details that will have many women nodding wryly in recognition. Only occasionally did I find some of the claims about the power dynamics between the sexes hard to swallow and sense a slight Tiresian wistfulness in the descriptions of men as ‘poor machos chained to a bunch of strange expectations’.

In general, this is an engrossing and persuasive performance by a leading writer on the world literary stage. With its narrator’s bold depiction of her – perhaps Utopian – vision for ‘a world of sex without problems’, it brims with generosity, fellow-feeling and a desire to improve the lot  of humankind. The issue, it suggests, may not lie with the unbridled expression of sexual desire, but with the concept of sin itself.

Perhaps this is simply the passionate manifesto for free love it appears to be. Or maybe, on some ‘con game’, Lacanian or Freudian level, the artist Ribeiro is protesting that the basis of his commission is ultimately flawed.

House of the Fortunate Buddhas by Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro (translated from the Portuguese by Clifford E Landers). Dalkey Archive Press, 2011

Algeria: the truth within

As titles go, The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris has to be one of the most controversial out there. In fact, I got quite a few stares when I was reading this book on the Tube (no mean feat when you consider the sights you see on the East London line most days of the week).

One of the most anxious stares came from a young, blonde woman, who, when she saw me looking at her, switched on the radiant smile of the evangelical Christian. This impression was strengthened when the seat next to her became free and I sat down and saw that the title of the chapter she was reading was ‘The Lavish Grace of God’. All through the journey, I thought I could feel her twitching beside me, ready to pounce and tell me the good news.

However, if my neighbour had read the book, she would have found that there is a surprising lack of sex in much of it, albeit not for want of trying on the part of the protagonist. Having reached his fourth decade, Algerian-born banker Basile Tocquard, who ‘Frenchified’ his name as part of his attempts to shrug off North Africa and embrace Western culture, feels it is high time he moved out of his mother’s home and set himself up in a bachelor pad in the centre of town. There, he envisages, he will quickly dispense with his virginity and embark on a sexual odyssey among the city’s Caucasian goddesses.

He has reckoned without two things though: the powerful pull of his Islamic heritage, and the barriers in his own head. In addition, Basile’s story is related by a contemptuous female narrator, who makes fine capital out of the gap between his fantasies and the reality. As the novel progresses and Basile becomes increasingly deluded and paranoid, she strips his ambitions bare, revealing the contradictions and hollowness within.

Leïla Marouane is an exceptional writer, with a gift for making words pay their way. Every detail counts, from Basile’s ‘whitening creams and hair straightening sessions’ to the ‘poetry manuscripts’ he locks away in his desk drawer, building a rich picture that is at once funny, true and sad. This literary economy extends to the way that Marouane insinuates her female narrator into the text: at first sketched in only at the start of chapters and in the occasional footnote, but gradually making her presence felt everywhere.

Although the narrative is rooted in the clash between Islamic and Western culture, it is packed with universal insights about the attempts of younger generations everywhere to break away from what has gone before. As Basile sinks into madness in his efforts to deny his origins, the book excavates the foundations of identity, revealing the uneasy bargains we must all strike, whether between one culture and another or between the present and the past.

Inner peace, it seems, depends on an honest engagement with who we are and what we have been — sentiments with which I suspect my East London line neighbour would have heartily agreed. But then, who knows what her book was really about anyway?

The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leïla Marouane (translated from the French by Alison Anderson). Publisher: Europa Editions (2010)

Bangladesh: the point of book prizes

With the announcement of the Orange prize longlist this week, the usual round of questions and criticisms began. Shouldn’t the list be more international? Why is there so much historical fiction on it? How come Penelope Lively missed out? And who on earth thought Emma Donoghue deserved to feature for a novel first published in 2008?

It can all make you rather tired. In fact, until recently I didn’t pay much attention to book award lists, regarding them as little more than a marketing ploy to shift books by a lucky cohort of writers that seemed to change very little from year to year.

Then I took the plunge into my project to read one book from every country in the world in 2012 and all that changed. As I struck out from the familiar shallows of British, American and postcolonial literature, I found that book prize lists gleamed like guiding beacons on a vast and sometimes turbulent ocean. Often they were my only way of telling whether something was likely to be any good.

So when Fay, who is shadow judging the Man Asian Literary Prize on her blog, stopped by to share her thoughts on some of the contenders, I was grateful to be able to add Tahmima Anam’s longlisted The Good Muslim to my Bangladeshi options.

Jumping back and forth between the early seventies, early eighties and, once, the nineties, the novel explores the fallout of the Bangladesh Liberation War, which saw the country split from Pakistan in 1972. Told mostly through the eyes of Maya Haque, a woman doctor who returns to the home of her mother, deeply religious brother and his neglected son after an absence of seven years, it reveals the different ways that people cope with trauma and the harm that silence or incomplete communication between those with close ties can do.

Anam writes eloquently about the predicament of the intelligent, professional woman in a society where meekness, marriage and motherhood are the order of the day. As in several of the other books I’ve read so far this year, modern medicine provides the frontier for the meeting of traditional and western values as reticent characters find themselves forced to turn to Maya in cases of extreme need. 

The writing works best where it traces the friction generated as these two worlds collide. Anam has a particular talent for showing how memories and emotions intrude into seemingly unconnected practicalities, providing a motive for actions that would otherwise seem inexplicable.

Some of the peripheral characters are a little awkwardly drawn and there occasionally seems to be a step or two missing in the emotional transitions. The scene where Maya takes her nephew to buy shoes and storms out of the shop in a huff, for example, left me feeling slightly nonplussed.

Nevertheless, this is an assured and compelling tale that deserves a wide audience — and one which I would never have found without the Man Asian Literary Prize (shadow) jury’s help. It is proof of the need for prize organisers to take care that their lists truly reflect the best eligible work, wherever it comes from.

The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam (Canongate Books, 2011)

Nigeria: family matters

I’m not usually a fan of putting family trees at the start of novels. Maybe it’s because I’m not a very visual person, but it seems to me that greeting readers with a complex diagram featuring a load of names of characters they’ve not met yet is a sure-fire way to put people off.

But then, as I’m finding again and again in my quest to read a book from every country this year, there are exceptions to most of my assumptions about literature. And The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin is, er, no exception.

As the title suggests, the 2011 Orange prize-longlisted novel unravels the hidden stories of the four women of the household of Baba Segi, a prosperous, middle-aged businessman in the Nigerian city of Ibadan. The catalyst for the revelations is encapsulated neatly by the diagram on the opening page: a family tree that shows the offspring of three of the wives but only a blank space under the name of Bolanle, the fourth wife. As Baba Segi tries everything he can think of to discover the cause of his nubile, young spouse’s childlessness, one secret after another tumbles out of the shadows to smash open in the heart of his ordered home.

As with Mariama Bâ’s classic So Long a Letter (about a polygamous marriage in Senegal), education is a major theme in the book. At first, university graduate Bolanle seems like the odd one out in Baba Segi’s home, where, faced with the jealousy and vindictiveness of Baba Segi’s poorly educated older wives, she discovers ‘the dark side of illiteracy’. It seems clear that some hidden calamity must have made her abandon the independent career her mother dreamed she would follow in favour of the ‘unspeakable self-flagellation’ of life with the well-meaning but boorish Baba Segi.

But as the narrative unfolds and we hear from each of the wives in turn, it becomes apparent that each of the woman has been forced into their situation by the cruelty and thoughtlessness of others and circumstances beyond their control. In fact, as the final, deft twist in the plot comes into view, we realise that the only person more thwarted and disenfranchised than the women of the household is Baba Segi himself.

Shoneyin has that rare gift of being passionate on her characters’ behalfs while putting their stories over in an engaging and often very funny way. The undercurrents of the subject matter — in particular the frequent inability of mothers to offer daughters a better path in life through no fault of their own — are often deeply sad, yet they are overlaid with a series of sometimes harrowing but often funny set pieces that keep the book from tumbling into worthiness.

In particular, the encounters of Baba Segi with Western medicine, to which he turns as a last resort (and the way the doctors modulate their bedside manner to incorporate ‘the traditional shit [that] always worked on the older farts’) are very entertaining.

So much so, that I read the whole book in pretty much one sitting. And that family tree is still etched on my mind even now.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin (Serpent’s Tail 2010, 2011)

Antigua and Barbuda: a new departure

Migration has cropped up many times in the books I’ve read so far this year. From tension built on the disparity between regions in a single country, in works such as Ismail Kardare’s Broken April and Mario Vargas Llosa’s Death in the Andes, to countries where emigration almost seems part of the national psyche, as in Andrei Volos’s Hurramabad and the Lithuanian anthology, the challenge of moving from one place to another seems to be a favourite topic for storytellers the world over.

Perhaps it’s inevitable that books that bridge several cultures are more likely to find an international audience. But it’s also true that there are few scenarios calculated to show up the fault lines in individuals and societies more clearly than the arrival of an outsider.

For all the books on the subject though you’d have to go a long way to find a pithier migration tale than Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy. Following the fortunes of a 19-year-old girl who leaves her home in the Caribbean to work as an au pair in the USA, the 1990 novel looks at the rupture that relocation can cause in a life, ‘like a flow of water dividing formerly dry and solid ground’, and provides a fresh, feisty and at times alarming perspective on the land of the free and on British colonialism.

From the first, Lucy’s blunt yet humane account of life with her wealthy white employers Mariah and Lewis provides some powerful insights into the contradictions of modern life. Through Lucy, we see the blind hypocrisy of Mariah’s well-meant involvement with a nature preservation campaign — ‘I couldn’t bring myself to ask her to examine Lewis’s daily conversation with his stockbroker, to see if they bore any relation to the things she saw passing away forever before her eyes’ — and the hollowness of the idyllic nuclear family she has constructed around her, a fiction to which she clings in the face of mounting evidence of her husband’s affair with one of her friends.

More interesting still is the depiction of the gulf between Mariah and Lucy, which their contrasting experiences of freedom and colonialism have engendered and which no amount of good will on both sides can conquer completely. This is powerfully summed up in Lucy’s violent reaction to a bunch of daffodils Mariah brings home. Seeing the flowers for the first time in her life, she is reminded of being made to learn and recite a poem about them at the Queen Victoria Girls’ School when she was 10. After the anger evoked by the memory subsides, she realises that ‘nothing could change the fact that where [Mariah] saw beautiful flowers I saw sorrow and bitterness’.

Lucy is no passive victim, though. Irreverent, strong-willed and uninhibited, she refuses to conform to the expectations of others and is determined to seize and taste all the experience she can. This makes her both likeable and compelling as she bucks against the ties that link her to the homeland she loves and despises.

 As she comes to ‘see the sameness in things that appear to be different’, it’s impossible not to share her sadness at the compromised nature of the world. Independence it seems, whether personal or national, is infinitely more than a question of geography.

Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid. Publisher (this edition): Plume (1991)

Senegal: the other woman

Discovering that your middle-aged husband has fallen for one of your teenage daughter’s school friends has got to be pretty high in the nightmare stakes for most married women. In British novels, such a scenario usually has one of two outcomes:

  1. aggrieved woman ditches the bastard, reconnects with the vibrant, inner self her marriage has stifled all these years and realises she’s better off without him
  2. aggrieved woman thinks about ditching the bastard and reconnecting with her vibrant, inner self, but, after much soul-searching, and after her husband has realised the folly of his ways, finds a complex, unconventional peace with what has happened and moves forward as a beautiful, seasoned character.

But what about countries where your husband is not only expected to fall for another, younger girl but also legally entitled to bring her into your home and family as his second wife?

Mariama Bâ’s partly autobiographical 1980 novel explores just such a predicament. Written in the form of a letter from schoolteacher Ratamalouye to her old friend Assiatou, the novel’s series of reminiscences sets out the ‘slender liberty granted to women’ and in particular the plight of first wives who are ‘despised, relegated or exchanged… like a worn-out boubou [robe]’ under Islamic polygamy.

Ratamalouye’s husband of 25 years, Modou, has just died. As the rituals of the 40-day mourning period throw her together with his extended family, she relives the hurt and indignity of losing his affections and support to one of her daughter’s friends three years previously. She rehearses these thoughts in her letters to Assiatou, who took the unconventional step of leaving her own husband when he married a second wife, and her descriptions become a prism through which Bâ is able to illuminate the frustrations of many Senegalese women.

Bâ’s work might easily tip into a rant if she weren’t so for aware of the complexity of living through the issues she describes. Though clearly a passionate believer in the importance of education for all, she tempers this with reflections on the toll academic aspirations have taken on rural life with ‘the disappearance of an elite class of traditional manual workers’ because ‘The dream is to become a clerk. The trowel is spurned’. Similarly, though full of admiration for Assiatou’s hard-worn career and independence and though she rejoices ‘every time a woman emerges from the shadows’, Ratamalouye is prevented by her love for her husband and sense of duty from following her friend’s path.

Interestingly, So Long a Letter is the first book I’ve read so far this year where Western influence is presented as a largely positive thing. Ratamalouye writes with unqualified affection of the French headmistress who strove ‘to lift us out of the bog of tradition, superstition and custom, to make us appreciate a multitude of civilizations without renouncing our own’. Given the choice of novel endings facing women in western Europe and women in West Africa, perhaps that’s not such a surprise.

So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ (translated from the French by Modupé Bodé-Thomas). Heinemann International Literature & Textbooks (1989)

Lithuania: women’s work

I stumbled across this anthology while on the trail of Lithuanian writer Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė. She was one of the inaugural winners of the European Union Prize for Literature, which, according to its website, was launched in 2009 ‘to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works’, and I assumed this meant I would be able to find her novels in translation.

I was wrong. In fact, the only piece of Černiauskaitė’s work I could find was the extract of her 2008 novel, Benedict’s Milestones, featured alongside the work of 19 other Lithuanian women writers in this collection.

Published by the Lithuanian government’s International Cultural Programme Centre, the anthology is the second in a series of books designed to introduce Lithuanian writers to an English-speaking readership. It is available on Kindle for the princely sum of 59 pence. I was intrigued.

As it turned out, Černiauskaitė’s piece, which opens the collection, is something of a disappointment. The choice of a sex scene may have been unfortunate (if unsurprising given that the first volume in the series was called Sex, Lithuanian Style). As the list of nominees for the Literary Review‘s annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award goes to show, even the most accomplished of writers can come a cropper (if you’ll pardon the pun) trying to describe goings on behind closed doors. Nevertheless, the descriptions of breasts ‘pointing like cannons’ and an erect ‘stamen’ had me cringing more than once and wondering what I’d let myself in for.

Černiauskaitė’s piece is by no means the only damp squib. But there are several firecrackers along the way. My interest was first piqued by Birutė Jonuškaitė’s rough and raw account of a love affair gone sour told through a letter one of the lovers leaves behind. Ugnė Barauskaitė’s earthy and funny account of giving birth also had me giggling and cringing (this time in a good way). And if any English-language publishers are looking to broaden their lists Edita Nazaritė, Laima Vincė and Paulina Pukytė deserve attention.

One of the most powerful pieces, an extract from Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray relating a family’s violent arrest by the Soviet Police is already available through Philomel Books. I also really liked the extract from Giedra Radvilavičiūtė’s Tonight I Will Sleep by the Wall, an incendiary toast delivered by the groom’s cousin on the occasion of a couple’s twentieth wedding anniversary.

It can be reductive to look for common themes in collections like this, as though women’s writing is somehow a subset of literature proper and not every bit as diverse and creative as the stuff the big boys produce, but it would be difficult to ignore the role that migration plays in nearly all the pieces. The characters in these extracts are people who leave or people who are left behind to regret the absence of relatives living and working among the ‘synthetic’, white-bread people of the West. Emigration it seems, is such a commonplace in Lithuania, that it has almost become a cultural characteristic.

All the more surprising, then, that a nation that is so widely travelled and that seems to have one foot of its identity planted in the diaspora should be so poorly represented in the translation stakes. Who knows? Maybe e-anthologies will succeed where the European Union Prize for Literature has so far failed in raising the nation’s literary profile. Only time will tell.

No Men, No Cry (“Collective” series). Original language: Lithuanian. Publisher: International Cultural Programme Centre (2011)

Saudi Arabia: girl power

When I started this project to read a book from each of the world’s 196 sovereign states in 2012, I knew that translation would be one of the key issues I would encounter. But I little imagined that the process might cause the sort of public row that blew up around Rajaa Alsanea’s Girls of Riyadh.

First published in Lebanon in 2005 (the book was banned in Alsanea’s home country until 2008), the novel was written in a range of Arabic dialects, each reflecting the background of the different characters portrayed. The difficulty of rendering this in English and getting across some of Saudi Arabia’s cultural idiosyncrasies led to a three-way tug of war between translator, author and publisher, resulting in translator Marilyn Booth seeing her version reworked against her will.

Given the furore, it might have been simpler to leave Girls of Riyadh on the e-shelf and go for one of the more universally accepted translations on my list. But I was intrigued: the more I heard about this book, the more I wanted to read it and when I came across a rash of online reviews hyping the book as a ‘Saudi-style Sex and the City, I knew I was going to have to try it out for myself.

The reviews were half right. Written in the form of weekly emails by an anonymous female narrator, who is two parts Carrie Bradshaw, one part Belle de Jour and one part Mary Wollstonecraft, the book follows the lives, loves and liaisons of four young women in Saudi Arabia’s wealthy elite or ‘velvet class’. Moneyed and manicured, the girls are nevertheless bound by the tight social, religious and legal codes of their society, in which women are forbidden from revealing, expressing or asserting themselves outside their own all-female circles.

Faced with a world in which they are often not permitted so much as to sign their names or have coffee with a male friend without being arrested and interrogated, and yet are able to access all luxuries and comforts, as well as Western cult classics such as Clueless and, yes, Sex and the City, these girls of Riyadh lead schizophrenic lives. They conduct their love affairs in secret and remotely, they create fake personas online and they wear low-cut designer pieces under their abayas, which they queue up to change back into in the toilets on flights back from London, Paris and the States.

Now and then some of the transitions between stories and timeframes are a little clunky and the feisty narrator has a tendency to rant. There are also certain bits of exposition and explanation about Saudi society and culture, which feel shoehorned into the narrative and probably aren’t essential for readers to understand it. I sometimes found myself wishing that Alsanea had trusted her Western readers to follow her a bit more.

All this feels minor, however, when set against Alsanea’s achievement of exploding the single biggest weapon in the armoury of repressive regimes: that of making the oppressed group faceless and voiceless. Here, we are presented with four (five if you count the narrator herself) vivacious, witty, intelligent individuals, who despite the restrictions placed upon them attack life with energy and verve. We see educated girls testing the barriers that hem them in and brokering their own peace, or otherwise, with the codes with which they have been raised. And we see a marginalised group beginning to flex its muscles in the virtual sphere and discover the potential of the internet to help people visualize and effect changes such as those seen across much of the Arab world in 2011.

Isn’t this a tad more meaty and daring than Sex and the City? Yu-huh. Is the English text a pale imitation of its original form? I’m in no position to judge (perhaps you can tell me?). Is it better that this version is available to Western readers than nothing at all? Absolutely.

Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (translated from the Arabic by Rajaa Alsanea and Marilyn Booth). Publisher (Kindle edition): Penguin (2008)