‘The Path of Metaphor is rife with perils.’ A review of Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen

I have come to Haruki Murakami comparatively late in life, a fact that is in itself a cause for great joy. Not only do I think I wouldn’t have appreciated him as completely as I do now had I been younger – I did in fact read Norwegian Wood aged about sixteen and found itContinue reading “‘The Path of Metaphor is rife with perils.’ A review of Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen”

‘Strange things are afoot.’ A review of The Evenings by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

They told me it was strange, and they weren’t wrong. In fact, so unsettling and beyond my usual style of reading did I find The Evenings that I almost gave up on it after fifty pages. In part because of my Dutch reading challenge and in part because I hate not finishing a book onceContinue reading “‘Strange things are afoot.’ A review of The Evenings by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett”

‘I neglected to notice my husband’. A review of Sleepless Night by Margriet de Moor, translated from the Dutch by David Doherty

Dutch novelist Margriet de Moor has a wide following in the German-speaking world, but before I actively went looking for Dutch literature I had never come across a mention of her works in English. Why this is I can’t quite fathom, but with translations making up only around three per cent of the literary marketContinue reading “‘I neglected to notice my husband’. A review of Sleepless Night by Margriet de Moor, translated from the Dutch by David Doherty”

‘This shining land is not ours.’ A review of Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer, translated from the Dutch by Antoinette Fawcett

I found it slightly disconcerting at first. Eva Meijer, the multi-talented author of Bird Cottage (Het vogelhuis in the original Dutch) has such a particular way of articulating her main protagonist’s thoughts on the page that I almost felt like I was inside her head. Although definitely not a stream-of-consciousness novel, the slightly jerky wayContinue reading “‘This shining land is not ours.’ A review of Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer, translated from the Dutch by Antoinette Fawcett”

‘Without families you don’t get stories.’ A review of The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es

Around a year ago, Bart van Es won the 2018 Costa Book of the Year award for his family memoir, The Cut Out Girl. (Interestingly, this year’s winner was also the non-fiction category champion, Jack Fairweather’s The Volunteer, another book about the Holocaust. Given that the award is designed to honour the ‘most enjoyable’ booksContinue reading “‘Without families you don’t get stories.’ A review of The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es”

The Monthly Booking: February 2020

Dutch literature is having its day, so I’m beginning 2020 with a heavy focus on translation and a list of books written by Dutch authors. At the end of last year I visited Amsterdam and remembered something I used to do when I travelled a lot for work: wherever I went, I made sure toContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: February 2020”

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