V. S. Naipaul
Nobel laureate. A rather odd book, less a real story than a drawn out circumstance of dialog, general country descriptions and opportunities to render the intricate backstory of its main character. It works pretty well, though, because all of these elements are well done, and the book sustains an energy that made this a fast read. In terms of big insights the work is a bit modest on that score, but the juxtaposition of different parts of the past and reflection on the process of memory has its thematic weight, and the description of the foreign (to me) society has its intricate and affecting aspects.
Worse than: The New Life by Orhan Damuk
Better than: Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun