‘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]

‘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]

‘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: February 2021

An accidental Russian theme has crept into my reading for this month, which I’ve put together from titles waiting patiently on my shelves and a couple of new review copies. Perhaps my leaning towards northern climes reflects the bitterly cold weather we’ve been experiencing here recently; perhaps it’s just my ongoing yearning for travel. EitherContinue reading The Monthly Booking: February 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]

‘A few, rare moments of inspiration’ [book review]

A review of Shooting Stars: Ten Historical Miniatures by Stefan Zweig, translated from the German by Anthea Bell Earlier this year I enthusiastically reviewed Stefan Zweig’s memoir, The World of Yesterday, so I had absolutely no hesitation in picking up another of his non-fiction titles. Shooting Stars: Ten Historical Miniatures is a now slightly datedContinue reading ‘A few, rare moments of inspiration’ [book review]

‘Ein Geschmack von grünen Äpfeln’ [book review]

A review of Die zitternde Welt (The Trembling World) by Tanja Paar Tanja Paar writes figures on the edges of things. So it says in her author biography, a claim corroborated by her latest novel, Die zitternde Welt (The Trembling World), which sees not only the vast majority of its characters but also the worldContinue reading ‘Ein Geschmack von grünen Äpfeln’ [book review]

‘Ein Stern erster Größe’ [book review]

A review of Der weiße Abgrund (The White Abyss) by Henning Boëtius Heinrich Heine was one of the great luminaries of German literature, ‘ein Stern erster Größe am Himmel der Poesie’ (‘a star of the first magnitude in the heavens of poetry’). Known primarily as a poet, but also for his essays, satires and travelContinue reading ‘Ein Stern erster Größe’ [book review]

Independent Press Profile: V&Q Books

In light of the recent lack of bookshops, I’ve started a new series in which I profile my favourite independent publishers. These are some of the most exciting addresses when it comes to finding original ideas, literature in translation and voices that are underrepresented in the mainstream. Each one is more than deserving of supportContinue reading Independent Press Profile: V&Q Books

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