‘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]

‘A few, rare moments of inspiration’ [book review]

A review of Shooting Stars: Ten Historical Miniatures by Stefan Zweig, translated from the German by Anthea Bell Earlier this year I enthusiastically reviewed Stefan Zweig’s memoir, The World of Yesterday, so I had absolutely no hesitation in picking up another of his non-fiction titles. Shooting Stars: Ten Historical Miniatures is a now slightly datedContinue reading ‘A few, rare moments of inspiration’ [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]

‘A chronology of scars’ [book review]

A review of Theatre of War by Andrea Jeftanovic, translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle It’s been a downright brilliant year for Charco Press titles, a feeling that can only be compounded by the Edinburgh-based press’s final publication of 2020. Andrea Jeftanovic’s Theatre of War is a firecracker of a novel, structurally ambitious andContinue reading ‘A chronology of scars’ [book review]

‘My eyes were open in the dark’ [book review]

A review of A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Isn’t this, in the end, what literature is for? This sense of connection, of shared understanding – a feeling that runs deeper than common background or mutual experience and rests, instead, in what it is to be human. This creation of something soContinue reading ‘My eyes were open in the dark’ [book review]

‘Oscillating endlessly between history and story’ [book review]

A review of Resistance by Julián Fuks, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn It can be difficult to know where to start with a book like Resistance. The list of quotes I have noted down seems unfathomably long, and even a couple of days after finishing I keep thinking of new things it wasContinue reading ‘Oscillating endlessly between history and story’ [book review]

‘Too bad for the facts’ [book review]

A review of The Masochist by Katja Perat, translated from the Slovenian by Michael Biggins ‘If the facts indicate otherwise, then too bad for the facts.’ So begins Katja Perat’s novel The Masochist, newly translated into English by Michael Biggins and published this week by Istros Books. The latest in a line of bold andContinue reading ‘Too bad for the facts’ [book review]

‘In Paris and free’ [book review]

A review of A Country for Dying by Abdellah Taïa, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan In his new novel, A Country for Dying, Abdellah Taïa explores the lives of migrants in Paris, offering an unusual and uncomfortably real perspective on what it is to exist between places. Cut off from their own countriesContinue reading ‘In Paris and free’ [book review]

‘It depends what you focus on’ [book review]

A review of I Belong To Vienna by Anna Goldenberg, translated from the German by Alta L. Price It is an unparalleled joy to read a book set in a city with which you are deeply familiar – and in particular for me when that city is Vienna. I no longer live there and IContinue reading ‘It depends what you focus on’ [book review]

‘The loneliest whale in the world’ [book review]

A review of A Musical Offering by Luis Sagasti, translated from the Spanish by Fionn Petch Of all the mesmerising books I have had the pleasure of reading recently, Luis Sagasti’s A Musical Offering is right up there with the best of them. A complex and extremely heartfelt ode to another art form, music, thisContinue reading ‘The loneliest whale in the world’ [book review]

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