Expat summer reading can be found in Caleb Crain’s debut novel, Necessary Errors. The new novel depicts the expat experiences of Jacob in Czechoslovakia.
Passivity is an essential part of the expat experience: Jacob, like many wide-eyed foreigners, isn’t doing things so much as allowing things to happen to him. That’s hard to energize in fiction, but “Necessary Errors” thrives on Crain’s depth of understanding of the economic dynamic, and on his close study of social and romantic entanglements. The novel can be slow going at times, not because Crain is a plodding writer but because he’s a patient one, calibrating the story’s pace to the rhythm of Jacob’s life. (When he pays a visit to go-go Berlin early on, the story noticeably quickens.)
There have been a number of positive reviews for Crain’s book, some of which even invoke Hemingway’s name. Could this be because he’s a writer of that caliber, or because he’s writing about his experiences in another country? Go ahead and read it, find out for yourself, and share your thoughts on ExpatExchange.com!