The pick of this year's European fiction in translation

The pick of this year's European fiction in translation. Compiled

The Atom Station

by Halldor Laxness (Harvill, £10.99)

Good satire never dates, as this 1948 Icelandic classic shows. With characteristic sardonic wit, Laxness exposes the hypocrisies of a pretentious yet charming society poised precariously between the "Yanks" and the "bloody communists".


by Jens Christian Gr0ndahl (Canongate, £7.99)

A Danish girl discovers and shelters a British pilot from the Nazis and, despite the language barrier, they fall in love. Fifty years later, a family friend recalls his decisive role in the affair. A moving and delicate examination of how the consequences of past actions live on.

I'm Not Scared

by Niccolo Ammaniti (Canongate, £12)

A nine-year-old boy makes a shocking discovery that changes everything in a quiet Italian village. In vivid prose, Ammaniti evokes the confusion and uncertainty of childhood. A deserving winner of the 2001 Viareggio-Repaci fiction prize.

Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore

by Ray Loriga (Canongate, £9.99)

The Spaniard Loriga, a cult figure in Europe, constructs a bewildering dystopia dominated by multinational conglomerates, chemical dependency and sexual excess. Both disturbing and funny, Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore uses elements of contemporary life to offer a dark warning about where we might be heading.

The Visit of the Royal Physician

by Per Olov Enquist (Harvill, £16.99)

Against an Enlightenment backdrop, Enquist exposes the dark side of 18th-century Swedish upper-class life. His unconventional blend of reportage, philosophy and eroticism won him this year's Independent Foreign Fiction prize.

The Daughter

by Pavlos Matesis (Arcadia Books, £11.99)

Raraou, an unreliable but ballsy actress, describes her destitute childhood in occupied Greece and the subsequent humiliation of her collaborator mother. Matesis intelligently grapples with themes of memory and betrayal, providing a welcome antidote to the sentimentality of Captain Corelli's Mandolin.


by Willem Elsschot (Granta, £6.99)

When an unworldly Antwerp clerk suddenly finds himself saddled with 10,000 tons of Dutch Edam, he has no idea how to sell them. Available for the first time in English, this 1933 novel gently satirises the commercial excesses of inter-war Holland.

Lizard Tails

by Juan Marse (Harvill, £10.99)

David grows up in Barcelona in the brief lull between the Spanish civil war and the Second World War. He escapes from his bleak suburban existence into a fantasy world inspired by war films. An affecting portrayal of coming of age in a fractured society.

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