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‘Those who leave can never return’

A review of A Light Still Burns by Selim Özdoğan, translated by Ayça Türkoğlu and Katy Derbyshire It certainly isn’t the flashiest of series, but it is precisely because it doesn’t shout about its own merits that Selim Özdoğan’s Anatolian Blues trilogy has been such a delight to read over the past three years. ThisContinue reading ‘Those who leave can never return’

The Monthly Booking: April 2023

1 April 2023. Spring is here in the northern hemisphere – in name, at least – and, for the first time in a long time, I have made myself a reading list. I was inspired by this month’s non-fiction title, Wintering, which I happened to see in the bookshop a couple of weeks ago. ItContinue reading The Monthly Booking: April 2023

‘Hell was inside me’ [book review]

A review of Other People’s Beds by Anna Punsoda, translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem With Other People’s Beds, her first work of fiction, Catalan author Anna Punsoda offers us a tale of the body. In the smarting, spiky prose of her first-person narrative voice, she explores what it is to exist physicallyContinue reading ‘Hell was inside me’ [book review]

‘Making up a story felt like a plaster’ [book review]

A review of Auē by Becky Manawatu In the glossary at the end of Becky Manawatu’s searing debut, the Māori word ‘auē’ is defined as an ‘interjection showing distress’, or as a verb: ‘to cry, wail, howl’. As a title, it couldn’t be more perfect: Auē is indeed a howl of a novel, a longContinue reading ‘Making up a story felt like a plaster’ [book review]

‘We are the shelter we seek out in others’ [book review]

A review of Homesick by Jennifer Croft Homesick opens with a tornado warning. In their family home in Oklahoma, sisters Amy and Zoe shelter in the pantry, nestled among supplies with a torch and selected toys, waiting until the storm has passed and their parents come to fetch them. The girls do this so often,Continue reading ‘We are the shelter we seek out in others’ [book review]

‘Crossing languages and collecting butterflies’ [book review]

Putin’s Postbox by Marcel Beyer, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire German writer Marcel Beyer is a man of many talents. For the past three decades he has been publishing poetry, fiction and essays, translating poetry by Gertrude Stein and Michael Hofmann, and helping to shape the German-speaking literary scene in his roles asContinue reading ‘Crossing languages and collecting butterflies’ [book review]

‘Translation is amazing’ [book review]

Catching Fire: A Translation Diary by Daniel Hahn Translation is an art quite unlike anything else. For those who work in the field – and probably some who don’t – it is an endless source of fascination, frustration, and a particular kind of delight. Put a group of literary translators together in a room andContinue reading ‘Translation is amazing’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: August 2022

August is Women in Translation Month, a time for much celebration – or, more specifically, to focus on reading works by women writers from around the world who have been translated into English. Women are still a vastly underrepresented group in this area, writing less than one-third of all translated literature, but thanks to thisContinue reading The Monthly Booking: August 2022

‘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]

‘The worst of all tsunamis’ [book review]

Here Be Icebergs by Katya Adaui, translated by Rosalind Harvey ‘Family is family,’ says the narrator’s mother in ‘This Is the Man’, the seventh story in Katya Adaui’s Here Be Icebergs and one of the hardest to stomach, if least ambiguous, tales in this fascinating collection. Translated into English by Rosalind Harvey and published byContinue reading ‘The worst of all tsunamis’ [book review]