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‘Motherhood has always been very porous’ [book review]

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey I first came to the work of Mexican writer Guadalupe Nettel through Bezoar, a collection of short stories as memorable as it is slender, filled with sharp, unsettling observations on the human condition. A brief encounter it may have been, but perhaps for that very reasonContinue reading ‘Motherhood has always been very porous’ [book review]


‘A certain sense of weight and precision’ [book review]

A review of Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au In a busy street outside a station in Tokyo, the ground is ‘not asphalt, but a series of small, square tiles, if you cared enough to notice’. So we are informed by the narrator of Jessica Au’s Cold Enough for Snow, in an opening passageContinue reading ‘A certain sense of weight and precision’ [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]

‘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]

‘I went chasing eclipses’ [book review]

A review of Suppose a Sentence by Brian Dillon Hard to write sentences – meaningful ones, anyway – about a work devoted to just that: the sentence. Hard to convey the experience of reading Brian Dillon’s magnificent new book, an inspirational volume of essays as skilfully sculpted as the sentences they examine. A quiet, perhapsContinue reading ‘I went chasing eclipses’ [book review]

‘The only way to arrive at the truth’ [book review]

A review of Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette It could seem like a relatively minor book, Adania Shibli’s third novel. With its plain blue Fitzcarraldo cover and svelte 112 pages, Minor Detail comes across as unimposing, a novella to be consumed within the space of a couple ofContinue reading “‘The only way to arrive at the truth’ [book review]”