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]”

The Monthly Booking: September 2020

Women in Translation Month might be over, but I’m not done with women in translation yet. Not having a theme this month gives me the chance to catch up on some of the most hotly anticipated titles sitting on my shelves, including Alta L. Price’s translation of Anna Goldenberg’s I Belong to Vienna. This bookContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: September 2020”

‘Lost when she woke up to die’ [book review]

A review of Dead Girls by Selva Almada, translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott Some books are hard to write about. Selva Almada’s Dead Girls is one of them. Hard to write about, and in many ways hard to read as well – though this is purely in terms of the content with whichContinue reading “‘Lost when she woke up to die’ [book review]”

‘In times of crisis, people are kind’ [book review]

A review of The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai It reads a lot like a fable, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s The Mountains Sing. A fable set in a country both beautiful and devastated, a country divided into North and South. A fable in which, like their country, people can be roughly divided intoContinue reading “‘In times of crisis, people are kind’ [book review]”

‘Nothing but a soap bubble’ [book review]

A review of A Ballad of Remittent Fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha My first foray into Bengali literature has been an interesting experience, to say the least. Ashoke Mukhopadhyay’s A Ballad of Remittent Fever is an epic multi-generational saga that takes in much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,Continue reading “‘Nothing but a soap bubble’ [book review]”

‘Wir sind Meister der Perspektive’ [book review]

A review of Die Richterin (The Judge) by Lydia Mischkulnig ‘We are masters of perspective,’ says a court interpreter to Gabrielle, the main protagonist and titular judge of Lydia Mischkulnig’s new novel Die Richterin. He is speaking of the two of them, and the work they do in trying to establish what is real andContinue reading “‘Wir sind Meister der Perspektive’ [book review]”

‘I prefer the edges’ [book review]

A review of The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette The clue comes fairly late on in the novel. ‘I don’t dare delve into the depths of things, I prefer the edges. Where I can be poised to escape.’ So says Suleima, the narrator of Dima Wannous’ The FrightenedContinue reading “‘I prefer the edges’ [book review]”

‘The twilight at the end of every godforsaken intersection’ [book review]

A review of Lot by Bryan Washington It is a tough book, Lot. Tough in setting, tough in subject matter, tough in language. Tough, very often, on its readers. Whatever else this book is, it is not one to be picked up lightly. And yet beneath all the rawness and rough edges of Bryan Washington’sContinue reading “‘The twilight at the end of every godforsaken intersection’ [book review]”

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