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Constantinople; Michelangelo; Elephants

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Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants by Mathias Enard
Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants by Mathias Enard
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke to Matt Keliher from Subtext Books in St. Paul.

“We are in 1506 Constantinople and Michelangelo is hired by the sultan of the Ottoman Empire to construct a bridge over the Golden Horn.” That’s the setting for Mathias Énard’s novel “Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants,” as laid out by bookseller Matt Keliher.

“Énard is one of France’s greatest living writers in my opinion, and this book is a master class in short fiction. Each of the chapters is only about a page and a half, but the short paragraphs are filled with such detail and beauty that this is a book you will not regret. It also has, in my opinion, one of the best covers the year.”

“I absolutely loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough.”