Fred Vargas in my newspaper ...
My two-part interview with Vargas earlier this month expanded on questions touched on in the review. No surprise there; The Ghost Riders of Ordebec was what made me want to interview her in the first place. Vargas uses her much-ballyhooed quirkiness to good advantage in the book, and she offers a fine explanation for that quirkiness in the interview.
Thanks to Paul Davis for letting me know the review had turned up online.
In the meantime, I've finished reading Barry Cunliffe's Britain Begins and started his Europe Between the Oceans. It's refreshing to read stories told on such a large scale, combining hard science and informed speculation, told by a master of his subject who is unafraid to admit when the existing state of knowledge simply does not permit a question to be answered. The man can write, too, and his story is as exciting as any tale of aliens or lost Atlantises, but without the looniness and the unsavory preying on the gullibility of the weak-minded.
Cunliffe takes the longue durée approach to history. That is, he focuses on long-term environmental and geographical structures that underlie and outlast wars, migrations, and other such events of traditional history. The term longue durée is associated with the Annales School of French historians, coined by Fernand Braudel, author of The Identity of France, the three-volume Civilization and Capitalism, and others.
Among the great man's translators was Sian Reynolds, who, when not translating some of the most influential historical writing of the twentieth century, translates the crime novels of — Fred Vargas.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013