‘What matters is the story’ [book review]

A review of The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder So eager was I to finally read Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police in Stephen Snyder’s International Booker-shortlisted translation that I cast aside all other reading plans at the start of this year and practically devoured the book, only toContinue reading ‘What matters is the story’ [book review]

‘Now is the time for madmen to rise’ [book review]

A review of We that are young by Preti Taneja I do enjoy a challenge when reading, and Galley Beggar Press is usually happy to provide one. This time it came in the form of Preti Taneja’s We that are young, an undertaking that is nothing if not ambitious. Dense, raging and often extremely discomfiting,Continue reading ‘Now is the time for madmen to rise’ [book review]

‘We are all just nachos in an enormous bowl’ [book review]

A review of The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison A little piece of my heart broke when I finished reading this book. If I’m honest, I hadn’t expected to become so invested. I’d heard a lot about it, of course, and knew I was interested toContinue reading ‘We are all just nachos in an enormous bowl’ [book review]

‘The real theatre is here’ [book review]

A review of The Book of Jakarta, edited by Maesy Ang and Teddy W. Kusuma Each time I read an anthology from Comma Press’s ‘Reading the City’ series, I am immensely impressed by the ability of the editors – who are always different – to order the stories so skilfully that I feel I’ve beenContinue reading ‘The real theatre is here’ [book review]

‘Absurdity, gratuitousness, and imminent disaster’ [book review]

A review of Ramifications by Daniel Saldaña París, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney It was always going to be difficult to read fiction after Hurricane Season. Fortunately for me, there was Ramifications, another cracker from Latin American specialists Charco Press. Daniel Saldaña París’s second novel, vividly translated by Christina MacSweeney, offered me aContinue reading ‘Absurdity, gratuitousness, and imminent disaster’ [book review]

‘Lavish and warped’ [book review]

A review of Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes It happens. Every now and again, a book comes along and takes my words away. That it should this year have been Fernanda Melchor’s Hurricane Season, in the blistering English translation by Sophie Hughes, didn’t come as a great surprise.Continue reading ‘Lavish and warped’ [book review]

‘A thousand ordinary days’ [book review]

A review of The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields ‘I have never written with such happiness,’ wrote Carol Shields in a 2001 afterword to her award-winning novel of the previous decade, The Stone Diaries. Though she goes on to enumerate several reasons why she found the creation of this particular book to be such anContinue reading ‘A thousand ordinary days’ [book review]

‘A city behind a city’ [book review]

A review of The Book of Rio, edited by Toni Marques and Katie Slade Rio de Janeiro is a city of many faces. This is something Toni Marques makes abundantly clear in his introduction to The Book of Rio, one of the earlier titles in Comma Press’s wonderful ‘Reading the City’ series. Often fondly imaginedContinue reading ‘A city behind a city’ [book review]

‘From smooth to rough, then rough to smooth’ [book review]

A review of She-Clown and Other Stories by Hannah Vincent They may not have the weight of a novel, but when it comes to writing fiction, short stories are amongst the hardest challenges out there. The trick – or one of them, for there are many – is in knowing where to start and, moreContinue reading ‘From smooth to rough, then rough to smooth’ [book review]

‘The outsiders of the greenhouse’ [book review]

A review of Bezoar and Other Unsettling Stories by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine ‘The skin of an eyelid is unexpectedly delicate,’ explains the narrator of‘Ptosis’, the opening story in Guadalupe Nettel’s fascinating collection, Bezoar and Other Unsettling Stories. The Mexican author’s third title to appear in English, here inContinue reading ‘The outsiders of the greenhouse’ [book review]

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