‘A strange, feverish time’ [book review]

A review of Love and Youth: Essential Stories by Ivan Turgenev, translated from the Russian by Nicolas Pasternak Slater A short-story collection full of surprises, Love and Youth charmed and confounded me in almost equal measure. In what publisher Pushkin Press deems the ‘essential’ collection, Ivan Turgenev’s well-known novella First Love is gathered together withContinue reading ‘A strange, feverish time’ [book review]

‘There is too much past’ [book review]

A review of In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from the Russian by Sasha Dugdale ‘There is nothing more distancing than the documents of a dead person,’ writes Maria Stepanova late in her astonishing book In Memory of Memory. It is a sentence which by this time she has proved to be false,Continue reading ‘There is too much past’ [book review]

‘Washed by wind’ [book review]

A review of Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan Sometimes life calls for a beautiful book. The kind you can sink into with a sense of relief, or gratitude. The kind that’s filled with vivid strokes of language, painting a place and its people into existence. The kind that fills you with a certain not-unpleasant ache,Continue reading ‘Washed by wind’ [book review]

‘Like a faucet that won’t stop dripping’ [book review]

A review of Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker I heard a lot about Robert Kolker last year – his latest publication, Hidden Valley Road, was championed by The New York Times as one of the best non-fiction titles of 2020 and also made it to Barack Obama’s end-of-year list – yet few reviews, interviewsContinue reading ‘Like a faucet that won’t stop dripping’ [book review]

‘Ohne das Licht hinter sich zu löschen’ [book review]

A review of Streulicht (Sky Glow) by Deniz Ohde A troubling novel, this one. Deniz Ohde’s debut novel, Streulicht (Sky Glow), shortlisted for last year’s German Book Prize, is in many ways a Bildungsroman – just not what one might expect from the genre. From its setting of an industrial area on the edge ofContinue reading ‘Ohne das Licht hinter sich zu löschen’ [book review]

‘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]

‘The regret of unspoken words’ [book review]

A review of The Boy from Boskovice: A Father’s Secret Life by Vicky Unwin I’m always interested in reading World War II memoirs and histories, so I jumped at the chance to review Vicky Unwin’s second book, The Boy from Boskovice, which delves into the life of her refugee father. Touted as the piecing togetherContinue reading ‘The regret of unspoken words’ [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]

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