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Global literature was hailed by Goethe as long ago as 1827, when he announced, "National literature is now a meaningless term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach." Yet almost two hundred years later, the notion of global literature remains surprisingly elusive. At a time when many other aspects of culture and society have been effectively globalized, from finance to the visual arts, it is an open question whether literature can or should follow the same path. Is there such a thing as "world literature" and what are the ways of imagining the global fiction? Poet and literary critic Adam Kirsch goes in search of the global novel in the 21st century, paying tribute to Orhan Pamuk, Haruki Murakami, Roberto Bolano, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Michel Houellebecq, Mohsin Hamid, and Elena Ferrante.