The Monthly Booking: July 2020

It was my birthday last month, which means that my shelves are happily groaning under the weight of yet more books to read. As such, I once again have a themeless reading month – it’s my aim to get my to-be-read shelf down to a manageable size before I buy anything new, although given theContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: July 2020”

‘The accumulation of time makes strangers of us all’ [book review]

A review of Holiday Heart by Margarita García Robayo, translated from the Spanish by Charlotte Coombe It sounds like a good beach read, doesn’t it? Holiday Heart. Yet anyone expecting something light and fluffy had better turn elsewhere, because despite its cheerful-sounding title, Margarita García Robayo’s second work to appear in English is anything butContinue reading “‘The accumulation of time makes strangers of us all’ [book review]”

Independent Press Profile: And Other Stories

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: And Other Stories”

‘We are not the space we live in’ [book review]

A review of Catherine the Great and the Small by Olja Knežević, translated from the Croatian by Paula Gordon and Ellen Elias-Bursać I learned briefly about Catherine the Great at school. Eighteenth-century empress, Russia’s longest-serving female ruler: modern, enlightened, feminist – or at least what passed for such things at the time. Change comes toContinue reading “‘We are not the space we live in’ [book review]”

‘What’s left if we can’t even understand each other’ [book review]

A review of Trout, Belly Up by Rodrigo Fuentes, translated from the Spanish by Ellen Jones There’s something very diamond-in-the-rough about Trout, Belly Up, another quiet gem from the inimitable Charco Press. A series of interconnected short stories by young Guatemalan author Rodrigo Fuentes, it delves with extraordinary grace and poetic precision into the livesContinue reading “‘What’s left if we can’t even understand each other’ [book review]”

‘A world both fleeting and eternal’ [book review]

A review of The Great Homecoming by Anna Kim, translated from the German by Jamie Lee Searle There are several countries with which I have an enduring fascination, despite – or perhaps because of – the fact that I have never visited them. A relatively recent addition to this list are the Koreas, North andContinue reading “‘A world both fleeting and eternal’ [book review]”

‘It was a beautiful spectacle’ [book review]

A review of The Wind That Lays Waste by Selva Almada, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews It opens with a level of cool detachment, The Wind That Lays Waste. A mechanic and a car owner, between them a vehicle, above them the sky. The first page is all heat and desultory conversation, wordsContinue reading “‘It was a beautiful spectacle’ [book review]”

Independent Press Profile: Sandstone Press

In light of the current lack of bookshops, I’m starting 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: Sandstone Press”

‘Something was unjust and frustrating’ [book review]

A review of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, translated from the Korean by Jamie Chang I had read quite a lot about Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – the third novel by South Korean writer Cho Nam-Joo, which has been taking her own country and the rest of the world by storm – butContinue reading “‘Something was unjust and frustrating’ [book review]”

‘She opened the door to the world for me’. A review of The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, translated from the Spanish by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre

It has taken me a while to get round to writing this review, largely because I didn’t know what to say. In the face of Gabriela Cabezón Cámara’s torrent of effervescent prose, so striking and vivid it is almost breathing, my own words seem to have failed me completely. The Adventures of China Iron –Continue reading “‘She opened the door to the world for me’. A review of The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, translated from the Spanish by Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre”

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