‘A forest full of troubles’ [book review]

A review of The Dragons, The Giant, The Women by Wayétu Moore It may only be March, but when it comes to the memoir genre I’ll wager that this year you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful example than Wayétu Moore’s. Combining elements of fantasy with all-too-real experiences of war and racism, The Dragons,Continue reading ‘A forest full of troubles’ [book review]

‘The regret of unspoken words’ [book review]

A review of The Boy from Boskovice: A Father’s Secret Life by Vicky Unwin I’m always interested in reading World War II memoirs and histories, so I jumped at the chance to review Vicky Unwin’s second book, The Boy from Boskovice, which delves into the life of her refugee father. Touted as the piecing togetherContinue reading ‘The regret of unspoken words’ [book review]

‘The impenetrable nature of sleep’ [book review]

A review of Sleepless by Anders Bortne, translated from the Norwegian by Lucy Moffatt ‘Insomnia is a public health problem suffered by every tenth adult in the Western world.’ A striking statement, but one that is entirely characteristic of Norwegian author Anders Bortne’s recent memoir Sleepless, a record of his own struggle with chronic insomniaContinue reading ‘The impenetrable nature of sleep’ [book review]

‘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]”

‘Time could be cleansed with a new name’ [book review]

A review of The Bells of Old Tokyo: Travels in Japanese Time by Anna Sherman It’s been a while since I cried over a book and, it must be said, I didn’t expect it to be this one. ‘Kitasuna’, the chapter in Anna Sherman’s The Bells of Old Tokyo that sees her visiting a museumContinue reading “‘Time could be cleansed with a new name’ [book review]”

‘The past is a moving target’ [book review]

A review of Inge’s War by Svenja O’Donnell A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how publishing – in the UK, at least – seems to have a bit of a thing for war stories at the moment. Several fine Second World War memoirs and histories have been published in recent months and years, manyContinue reading “‘The past is a moving target’ [book review]”

‘What was eternal in us was all that would last’ [book review]

A review of The World of Yesterday: Memoirs of a European by Stefan Zweig, translated from the German by Anthea Bell My old flat in Vienna was in Stefan Zweig territory. Just around the corner, where I would stand to wait for the bus, a plaque on a stone façade announced that he had livedContinue reading “‘What was eternal in us was all that would last’ [book review]”

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