‘I prefer the edges’ [book review]

A review of The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette The clue comes fairly late on in the novel. ‘I don’t dare delve into the depths of things, I prefer the edges. Where I can be poised to escape.’ So says Suleima, the narrator of Dima Wannous’ The FrightenedContinue reading “‘I prefer the edges’ [book review]”

‘A microsecond of pure happiness’ [book review]

A review of Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann ‘Sometimes’, thinks the narrator of Ducks, Newburyport, ‘you feel just a microsecond of pure happiness’. I think we all know that feeling, and it’s one I had very often whilst reading Lucy Ellmann’s doorstopper novel. Happiness – fleeting, but unadulterated – when I read a sentence thatContinue reading “‘A microsecond of pure happiness’ [book review]”

‘She was a woman and he is a man’ [book review]

A review of The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld I’ll say it straight and upfront: I found The Bass Rock a difficult book to read. I expect, if they’re honest about it, most women – and hopefully men – will do too. This has absolutely nothing to do with Evie Wyld’s compelling style of storytellingContinue reading “‘She was a woman and he is a man’ [book review]”

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]”

‘This story is a talisman’ [book review]

A review of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara Earlier this year (in January, to be precise) Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line was being hailed as one of the best debuts of the year. With the year not yet over and the vast majority of its debuts not yetContinue reading “‘This story is a talisman’ [book review]”

‘There are so many things we can’t control’ [book review]

A review of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee The building of worlds is a difficult thing. Especially when that world is a historical one. There is research to be done, tiny details to be got exactly right, events to be recounted and words to be weighted just so in order for the setting to comeContinue reading “‘There are so many things we can’t control’ [book review]”

Independent Press Profile: Linen 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: Linen Press”

‘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]”

‘Nothing can be undone. Adelante.’ [book review]

A review of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins In September 2019, just like every year, I attended the World Press Photo Contest exhibition in Vienna. At the far end of the room, towards the left-hand corner, I came to a stop in front of a colour image. Entitled ‘Crying Girl on the Border’, it showsContinue reading “‘Nothing can be undone. Adelante.’ [book review]”

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started