‘A complicated journey in small stages’ [book review]

A review of A Long Way From Douala by Max Lobe, translated from the French by Ros Schwartz Lying on the west coast of Africa, surrounded by Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon is a country of 27 million people about which I’m ashamed to say I know almostContinue reading ‘A complicated journey in small stages’ [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]

‘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]

Independent Press Profile: Istros Books

A series in which I profile my favourite independent publishers: 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 has so much to offer and is more than deserving of support – buy directly where you can, orContinue reading Independent Press Profile: Istros Books

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

‘What matters is the story’ [book review]

A review of The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder So eager was I to finally read Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police in Stephen Snyder’s International Booker-shortlisted translation that I cast aside all other reading plans at the start of this year and practically devoured the book, only toContinue reading ‘What matters is the story’ [book review]

‘We are all just nachos in an enormous bowl’ [book review]

A review of The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison A little piece of my heart broke when I finished reading this book. If I’m honest, I hadn’t expected to become so invested. I’d heard a lot about it, of course, and knew I was interested toContinue reading ‘We are all just nachos in an enormous bowl’ [book review]

‘The real theatre is here’ [book review]

A review of The Book of Jakarta, edited by Maesy Ang and Teddy W. Kusuma Each time I read an anthology from Comma Press’s ‘Reading the City’ series, I am immensely impressed by the ability of the editors – who are always different – to order the stories so skilfully that I feel I’ve beenContinue reading ‘The real theatre is here’ [book review]

‘Absurdity, gratuitousness, and imminent disaster’ [book review]

A review of Ramifications by Daniel Saldaña París, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney It was always going to be difficult to read fiction after Hurricane Season. Fortunately for me, there was Ramifications, another cracker from Latin American specialists Charco Press. Daniel Saldaña París’s second novel, vividly translated by Christina MacSweeney, offered me aContinue reading ‘Absurdity, gratuitousness, and imminent disaster’ [book review]

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