Readersforum's Blog

April 25, 2013

10 Imaginary Countries in Books

 

disgraceIn Partial Disgrace, a novel by the late Charles Newman more than twenty years in the writing, is being published by Dalkey Archive. Since the book concerns an imaginary Central European nation, Cannonia, we asked its editor, Ben Ryder Howe, to come up with a list of ten novels featuring mythical countries.

A good mythical country is not a place that doesn’t exist. It’s a place that does exist but you weren’t aware of it, either because you didn’t look at the map carefully, haven’t spent enough time in that particular part of the subarctic Eurasian hinterlands, or simply got confused by the exotic-sounding name. (For its part, Cannonia, the setting of In Partial Disgrace, is a country that is “effectively all border,” and usually covered on maps by the compass sign or coat-of-arms.)

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