DEATH METAL DANTE: MARY JO BANG’S TRANSLATION OF THE INFERNO (2012)

The Divine Comedy has been translated more than a hundred times into English between 1785 and 2017--more than any other book that's not the Bible or one of the Greek and Roman classics--but Mary Jo Bang's 2012 translation of the Inferno is almost certainly the only one that includes a reference to death metal. Her … Continue reading DEATH METAL DANTE: MARY JO BANG’S TRANSLATION OF THE INFERNO (2012)

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REVIEW: BLOOD CRIME, BY SEBASTIÀ ALZAMORA, TRANSLATED BY MARTHA TENNENT & MARUXA RELLAÑO (2016)

It's the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War is raging in Barcelona, and a vampire is loose. The bodies of two of his victims are found, an old man and a child, and the detective in charge, superintendent Muñoz, discovers that the old man was a priest--one of several stuck in Catalonia, forced into hiding and … Continue reading REVIEW: BLOOD CRIME, BY SEBASTIÀ ALZAMORA, TRANSLATED BY MARTHA TENNENT & MARUXA RELLAÑO (2016)

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, BY CELESTE NG (2017)

Little Fires Everywhere opens, appropriately, with an arson. Izzy, the Richardson's youngest daughter, has set fire to all three of her siblings' beds, as well as just outside her parents' bedroom. Izzy had always been the rebel in the family, but this goes beyond anything she's ever done before. We know it may have something … Continue reading BLOG TOUR REVIEW: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, BY CELESTE NG (2017)

REVIEW: MANDELBROT THE MAGNIFICENT, BY LIZ ZIEMSKA (2017)

I've read plenty of alternate histories, but I think this is the first alternate biography I've ever come across. Benoit Mandelbrot was a real person--a brilliant mathematician who, as the NYT review for his posthumous memoir put it, "coined the term 'fractal' to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes that uncannily mimic the … Continue reading REVIEW: MANDELBROT THE MAGNIFICENT, BY LIZ ZIEMSKA (2017)

REVIEW: A SKINFUL OF SHADOWS, BY FRANCES HARDINGE (2017)

Makepeace's nightmares are not like other people's. She dreams of spectral figures trying to claw their way through the window, inside her bedroom, inside her head. For Makepeace (who is twelve) has a strange gift: she has "extra space" inside her that can be inhabited by extra souls, and the souls of the dead--who want … Continue reading REVIEW: A SKINFUL OF SHADOWS, BY FRANCES HARDINGE (2017)

REVIEW: TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, BY VALERIA LUISELLI (2017)

Tell Me How It Ends is a 100-page essay describing with "anger and clarity" the cruel and surreal way in which the US government treats refugee children--specifically ones from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, following the so-called "immigration crisis" of 2014, in which tens of thousands of children from these countries crossed the American border … Continue reading REVIEW: TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, BY VALERIA LUISELLI (2017)

INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE BULLOCH, TRANSLATOR OF LINDA STIFT’S THE EMPRESS AND THE CAKE

Linda Stift's The Empress and the Cake is one of the best and strangest books I've come across this year. I reviewed it several weeks ago, and I'm still thinking about it--it left me with so many questions, and I'm already itching to read it a second time. Now--normally, when a novel is so strange, … Continue reading INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE BULLOCH, TRANSLATOR OF LINDA STIFT’S THE EMPRESS AND THE CAKE

REVIEW: ABANDON, BY SANGEETA BANDYOPADHYAY, TRANSLATED BY ARUNAVA SINHA (2017)

Abandon--the story of Ishwari and her son Roo, as they try to build a new life together after a long period of separation--is one of those books that are so good I was for a long time discouraged from reviewing it. How could I possibly do it justice? The imagery is so strange and wild, … Continue reading REVIEW: ABANDON, BY SANGEETA BANDYOPADHYAY, TRANSLATED BY ARUNAVA SINHA (2017)