PlanetaryJeffrey Zuckerman at The Quarterly Conversation:

The novels of J. M. Ledgard are, as he says in an interview with Philip Gourevitch, “an attempt at what I would call planetary writing.” In the shadow of “global novels” that only hint at an astonishingly interconnected world, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see that word: planetary. It seems scientific, but not clinical. Certainly not milquetoast nature writing: “it’s more political, more discarnate.” More conscious, perhaps, of the hundreds of forces that drive the visible world.

It is the planet we live on, more than any human consciousness or ambition, that anchors the two slim novels of J. M. Ledgard—Giraffe, which was acclaimed upon its 2006 publication, and Submergence, which despite its greater stature has been slower in finding an Anglophone audience since its British publication in 2011. Ledgard, who was born on the chilly Shetland Islands, has spent much of his working life writing forThe Economist and has been stationed thousands of miles away as a foreign correspondent in western America, central Europe, central Asia, and eastern Africa. It comes as no surprise, then, that Giraffe and Submergence owe their prose to the direct (and at times detail-dense) style of magazine reportage, nor that they’re set in various corners of the world—Kenya, France, the Czech Republic, Somalia. These books are every bit as cosmopolitan as their author.

more here.