‘Welch herzzereißendes Glück’ [book review]

A review of Nagel im Himmel (A Nail in the Sky) by Patrick Hofmann German author Patrick Hofmann’s second novel, Nagel im Himmel (A Nail in the Sky) is an intimate, moving portrait of a brilliant young mathematician. As might be expected – the two words often go hand in hand – Oliver Seuß, ourContinue reading ‘Welch herzzereißendes Glück’ [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]

‘The house was the story’ [book review]

A review of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Every now and then we’re all in need of a good story. And when it comes to getting lost in a truly great book, Ann Patchett is an ever-reliable address. The award-winning author’s latest novel, The Dutch House, is one of those bestsellers that has beenContinue reading ‘The house was the story’ [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]

The Monthly Booking: October 2020

The autumn of intense publication continues, added to by the recent appearance of shortlists for the Booker Prize and the Deutscher Buchpreis, but as is so often the case my core reading list for October is composed of books already sitting on my shelves. A couple are relatively recent releases, while the others are stalwartsContinue reading The Monthly Booking: October 2020

‘She’s not a footnote, she’s a person’ [book review]

A review of A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes Last week saw the announcement of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – for which many congratulations to Maggie O’Farrell, on whom I have more than a bit of a crush – just as, coincidentally, I was reading one of the shortlisted titles. Natalie Haynes’s A ThousandContinue reading “‘She’s not a footnote, she’s a person’ [book review]”

‘Solche Häuser sind ein Fluch’ [book review]

A review of Das Gartenzimmer (The Garden Room) by Andreas Schäfer I was intrigued as soon as I heard about it: Andreas Schäfer’s new novel, Das Gartenzimmer. Set in Berlin’s Dahlem neighbourhood, it sweeps right across the twentieth century, charting the rise and fall of several characters associated with one of the villas for whichContinue reading “‘Solche Häuser sind ein Fluch’ [book review]”

‘Looking at the incandescent door’ [book review]

A review of No Presents Please by Jayant Kaikini, translated from the Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana Mumbai. Say the name and it conjures multitudes: one of the world’s most populated cities, its streets awash with life, a sea of endless opportunity and dashed hopes, extreme wealth and abject poverty. Mumbai, with its grand colonial buildingsContinue reading “‘Looking at the incandescent door’ [book review]”

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