‘You can almost smell it’ [book review]

A review of English Magic by Uschi Gatward There is a definite kind of magic to Uschi Gatward’s debut collection. Published by the inimitable Galley Beggar Press, English Magic comprises twelve stories of varying length that all seem to radiate outwards from London, where Gatward was born, probing the shadowy spaces of countryside and coastline,Continue reading ‘You can almost smell it’ [book review]

‘Whether it could be borne’ [book review]

A review of The Bureau of Past Management by Iris Hanika, translated from the German by Abigail Wender The Bureau of Past Management doesn’t exist, but, after reading Iris Hanika’s excellent novel of the same name, I certainly wish it did. This vast institution at the heart of the German capital – nation, even –Continue reading ‘Whether it could be borne’ [book review]

‘I could draw it in writing’ [book review]

A review of Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price ‘A story . . . seems understandable when it’s about a large beast that eats people,’ muses the narrator of Samar Yazbek’s Planet of Clay, a haunting exploration of conflict, trauma and the utter impossibility of using words toContinue reading ‘I could draw it in writing’ [book review]

‘What does memory feed on?’ [book review]

A review of Madgermanes by Birgit Weyhe, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire Sometimes you pick up a book and just know that this one is going to be special. There are a few things to suggest that Madgermanes might be so: the line drawings on its bright-yellow cover, the unusual size and gentleContinue reading ‘What does memory feed on?’ [book review]

‘So desperately temporary’ [book review]

A review of The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig, translated from the Catalan by Tiago Miller Eva Baltasar, a prominent Catalan poet and author whose novel Permafrost I reviewed earlier this year, describes Montserrat Roig’s work as ‘an array of lagoons in which [her] most extraordinary flowers lay their roots’. It’s certainly an arrestingContinue reading ‘So desperately temporary’ [book review]

‘What makes a person want so much?’ [book review]

A review of The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki Thirteen-year-old Benny Oh is having a tough time. His beloved father, Kenji, a jazz musician, has been killed in an absurd accident to which Benny was witness. His mother, Annabelle, shy and nervous at the best of times, has retreated into herself, neglectingContinue reading ‘What makes a person want so much?’ [book review]

‘They’re the heads and we’re the bodies’ [book review]

A review of Here Is A Body by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright Basma Abdel Aziz’s Here Is A Body begins, appropriately enough, with a chapter that is all about the corporeal. In vivid, fast-paced prose focused on immediate sensations – sound and smell in particular – the reader isContinue reading ‘They’re the heads and we’re the bodies’ [book review]

‘Unassailable in their womanhood’ [book review]

A review of No Touching by Ketty Rouf, translated from the French by Tina Kover ‘Challenging’ is the word that first springs to mind when I think of how to describe No Touching, the award-winning debut novel by Italian-French author Ketty Rouf, which has just been translated into English by Tina Kover. It is aContinue reading ‘Unassailable in their womanhood’ [book review]

‘An explosive, swollen vitality’ [book review]

A review of Waiting for the Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé, translated from the French by Richard Philcox The title of Waiting for the Waters to Rise, the latest novel by Maryse Condé to be translated into English, comes from a conversation between Babakar, the main protagonist, and his good friend Hugo Moreno. OnContinue reading ‘An explosive, swollen vitality’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: August 2021

After taking a break in July to concentrate on other things, The Monthly Booking is back with a brand-new reading list for Women in Translation Month. For those who don’t know, WIT Month takes place every August and is a celebration of women writers from across the world whose works can be read in (English)Continue reading The Monthly Booking: August 2021

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