‘The impenetrable nature of sleep’ [book review]

A review of Sleepless by Anders Bortne, translated from the Norwegian by Lucy Moffatt ‘Insomnia is a public health problem suffered by every tenth adult in the Western world.’ A striking statement, but one that is entirely characteristic of Norwegian author Anders Bortne’s recent memoir Sleepless, a record of his own struggle with chronic insomniaContinue reading ‘The impenetrable nature of sleep’ [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 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]

‘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]

‘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]

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