Ten of the Best Independent Publisher Subscriptions

The festive season is almost upon us, and while Christmas will no doubt be very different for most of us this year, perhaps we can use gift giving for a final boost of positivity. The last few months have proved again and again how much joy, solace and human connection literature can provide in timesContinue reading Ten of the Best Independent Publisher Subscriptions

‘Ein Geschmack von grünen Äpfeln’ [book review]

A review of Die zitternde Welt (The Trembling World) by Tanja Paar Tanja Paar writes figures on the edges of things. So it says in her author biography, a claim corroborated by her latest novel, Die zitternde Welt (The Trembling World), which sees not only the vast majority of its characters but also the worldContinue reading ‘Ein Geschmack von grünen Äpfeln’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: November 2020

This month is all about short works of literature. I used to struggle a lot with short stories, but over the last couple of years have developed a serious appreciation for them. What I once found difficult to cope with – the regular lack of closure, abrupt endings, missing out on classic character development –Continue reading The Monthly Booking: November 2020

‘My eyes were open in the dark’ [book review]

A review of A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Isn’t this, in the end, what literature is for? This sense of connection, of shared understanding – a feeling that runs deeper than common background or mutual experience and rests, instead, in what it is to be human. This creation of something soContinue reading ‘My eyes were open in the dark’ [book review]

‘Too bad for the facts’ [book review]

A review of The Masochist by Katja Perat, translated from the Slovenian by Michael Biggins ‘If the facts indicate otherwise, then too bad for the facts.’ So begins Katja Perat’s novel The Masochist, newly translated into English by Michael Biggins and published this week by Istros Books. The latest in a line of bold andContinue reading ‘Too bad for the facts’ [book review]

‘In Paris and free’ [book review]

A review of A Country for Dying by Abdellah Taïa, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan In his new novel, A Country for Dying, Abdellah Taïa explores the lives of migrants in Paris, offering an unusual and uncomfortably real perspective on what it is to exist between places. Cut off from their own countriesContinue reading ‘In Paris and free’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: October 2020

The autumn of intense publication continues, added to by the recent appearance of shortlists for the Booker Prize and the Deutscher Buchpreis, but as is so often the case my core reading list for October is composed of books already sitting on my shelves. A couple are relatively recent releases, while the others are stalwartsContinue reading The Monthly Booking: October 2020

‘Bread is quiet, mute’ [book review]

A review of Our Daily Bread by Predrag Matvejević, translated from the Croatian by Christina Pribichevich-Zorić My abiding love of bread began around six years ago on a visit to Uzbekistan. As in many Central Asian countries, the bread there is sold in large, flattish rounds, shiny-crusted on the outside, white and fluffy on theContinue reading “‘Bread is quiet, mute’ [book review]”

‘Looking at the incandescent door’ [book review]

A review of No Presents Please by Jayant Kaikini, translated from the Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana Mumbai. Say the name and it conjures multitudes: one of the world’s most populated cities, its streets awash with life, a sea of endless opportunity and dashed hopes, extreme wealth and abject poverty. Mumbai, with its grand colonial buildingsContinue reading “‘Looking at the incandescent door’ [book review]”

‘The difference between people and rivers’ [book review]

A review of The Book of Shanghai, ed. Jin Li and Dai Congrong Literature is unquestionably one of the best ways to get under the skin of a place, and if you’re keen to explore one city in particular it is equally incontestable that the superb ‘The Book of . . .’ series by CommaContinue reading “‘The difference between people and rivers’ [book review]”

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