So I've just finished Kalpa Imperial by Angelica Gorodischer (translated by Ursula Le Guin), and now I'm stuck for what to read next.
Here's the problem, the way Kalpa Imperial starts:
The storyteller said: Now that the good winds are blowing, now that we’re done with days of anxiety and nights of terror, now that there are no more denunciations, persecutions, secret executions and whim and madness have departed from the heart of the Empire and we and our children aren’t playthings of blind power; now that a just man sits on the Golden Throne and people look peacefully out of their doors to see if the weather’s fine and plan their vacations and kids go to school and actors put their hearts into their lines and girls fall in love and old men die in their beds and poets sing and jewelers weigh gold behind their little windows and gardeners rake the parks and young people argue and innkeepers water the wine and teachers teach what they know and we storytellers tell old stories and archivists archive and fishermen fish and all of us can decide according to our talents and lack of talents what to do with our life -- now anyone can enter the emperor’s palace out of need or curiosity; anybody can visit that great house which was for so many years forbidden, prohibited, defended by armed guards, locked and as dark as the souls of the Warrior Emperors of the dynasty of the Ellydrovides.
That is, as you can see, kind of a hard act to follow. I'm thinking maybe I want something with a very strong first-person voice? Or something elegantly minimalist? Any suggestions?
(Hmm. Maybe Octavian Nothing, but that might be kind of harsh. I'd go for some nonfiction, but I want strong narrative too.)
ETA: I have just remembered that what I need to do next is review source for a Yuletide beta that I said I'd do, but further recs are welcome all the same.