‘Whether it could be borne’ [book review]

A review of The Bureau of Past Management by Iris Hanika, translated from the German by Abigail Wender The Bureau of Past Management doesn’t exist, but, after reading Iris Hanika’s excellent novel of the same name, I certainly wish it did. This vast institution at the heart of the German capital – nation, even –Continue reading ‘Whether it could be borne’ [book review]

‘What does memory feed on?’ [book review]

A review of Madgermanes by Birgit Weyhe, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire Sometimes you pick up a book and just know that this one is going to be special. There are a few things to suggest that Madgermanes might be so: the line drawings on its bright-yellow cover, the unusual size and gentleContinue reading ‘What does memory feed on?’ [book review]

‘Warum hatte er die Zeichen nicht gesehen?’ [book review – German]

A review of Ciao by Johanna Adorján Hans Benedek is in trouble. A well-respected art critic and journalist, he has reached middle age only to find that his teenage daughter – Emma, a committed vegan – disdains him, that his wife – Henriette, once a promising young poet, now a part-time yoga instructor – isContinue reading ‘Warum hatte er die Zeichen nicht gesehen?’ [book review – German]

‘Nobody was exactly how you wanted them to be’ [book review]

A review of Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien, translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch The title of Daniela Krien’s latest novel to appear in English is, in the German original, Die Liebe im Ernstfall. While a direct interpretation (Love in Case of Emergency) has indeed been chosen for the US edition ofContinue reading ‘Nobody was exactly how you wanted them to be’ [book review]

‘Frauen waschen Wäsche, und Männer fliegen Flugzeuge’ [book review]

A review of Freiflug (Flying Free) by Christine Drews In 1974, a young German woman named Rita Maiburg applied for a job as a pilot with Lufthansa. She was fully qualified for the position, having paid for training and a license herself, and regularly flew private jets from Cologne–Bonn airfield. She was able, experienced andContinue reading ‘Frauen waschen Wäsche, und Männer fliegen Flugzeuge’ [book review]

‘Those carefree, glittering summers’ [book review]

A review of The Blacksmith’s Daughter by Selim Özdoğan, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire and Ayça Türkoğlu Between 1961 and 1973, nearly 900,000 Turkish men and women left their homes to work in West Germany. This constant stream of migration was the result of a deal closed by the two governments; Germany badlyContinue reading ‘Those carefree, glittering summers’ [book review]

‘Peacocks aren’t exactly people’ [book review]

A review of The Peacock by Isabel Bogdan, translated from the German by Annie Rutherford A German novel set in Scotland and translated into English is a somewhat unusual proposition, as Annie Rutherford is quick to point out in her translator’s note at the end of Isabel Bogdan’s The Peacock, which is published next weekContinue reading ‘Peacocks aren’t exactly people’ [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]

The Monthly Booking: January 2021

Never have I been so happy to see the year change. As distressing as it was, 2020 was still a brilliant year for reading – as you can see from my personal Best Books of 2020 list – and while I’m hoping that 2021 will be as different to its predecessor as possible, this isContinue reading The Monthly Booking: January 2021

‘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]

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