‘Each thing carries its opposite within’ [book review]

A review of At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis It is unfair to write this without having read the entire shortlist, but At Night All Blood is Black has serious International Booker Prize-winning potential. David Diop’s novel, in translation by Anna Moschovakis, is a short,Continue reading ‘Each thing carries its opposite within’ [book review]

‘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]

‘A strange, feverish time’ [book review]

A review of Love and Youth: Essential Stories by Ivan Turgenev, translated from the Russian by Nicolas Pasternak Slater A short-story collection full of surprises, Love and Youth charmed and confounded me in almost equal measure. In what publisher Pushkin Press deems the ‘essential’ collection, Ivan Turgenev’s well-known novella First Love is gathered together withContinue reading ‘A strange, feverish time’ [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]

‘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]”

The Monthly Booking: June 2020

After last month’s desert theme, I’m moving into June with no reading plans grander than trying to clear a few titles from my to-be-read pile. The fact that I often buy books and take for ever to get round to reading them has nothing to do with having changed my mind, but more with thereContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: June 2020”

‘Strange things are afoot.’ A review of The Evenings by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

They told me it was strange, and they weren’t wrong. In fact, so unsettling and beyond my usual style of reading did I find The Evenings that I almost gave up on it after fifty pages. In part because of my Dutch reading challenge and in part because I hate not finishing a book onceContinue reading “‘Strange things are afoot.’ A review of The Evenings by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett”

‘This shining land is not ours.’ A review of Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer, translated from the Dutch by Antoinette Fawcett

I found it slightly disconcerting at first. Eva Meijer, the multi-talented author of Bird Cottage (Het vogelhuis in the original Dutch) has such a particular way of articulating her main protagonist’s thoughts on the page that I almost felt like I was inside her head. Although definitely not a stream-of-consciousness novel, the slightly jerky wayContinue reading “‘This shining land is not ours.’ A review of Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer, translated from the Dutch by Antoinette Fawcett”

The Monthly Booking: February 2020

Dutch literature is having its day, so I’m beginning 2020 with a heavy focus on translation and a list of books written by Dutch authors. At the end of last year I visited Amsterdam and remembered something I used to do when I travelled a lot for work: wherever I went, I made sure toContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: February 2020”

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