REVIEW: WOMAN AT SEA, BY CATHERINE POULAIN, TRANSLATED BY ADRIANA HUNTER (2018)

Woman at Sea is a novel that wastes no time. When we first meet her, on page 1, Lili has already packed he bags. She's French, she lives in France, in a town she calls "Manosque-les-Sorrow", but she's off to Alaska, "to the ends of the earth, the limitless oceans, to the glassy calm and … Continue reading REVIEW: WOMAN AT SEA, BY CATHERINE POULAIN, TRANSLATED BY ADRIANA HUNTER (2018)

Advertisements

NON-REVIEW: THE WHITE BOOK, BY HAN KANG, TRANSLATED BY DEBORAH SMITH (2018)

My mind is seldom quiet when I read. Over the past year and two months, I've reviewed at least one book each week, with almost no weeks off. As a result, I've become better at formulating opinions on the books I read. I've learned tricks—like reading part of the book aloud to myself, to get … Continue reading NON-REVIEW: THE WHITE BOOK, BY HAN KANG, TRANSLATED BY DEBORAH SMITH (2018)

REVIEW: FLIGHTS, BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (2017)

When I finished reading Olga Tokarczuk's Flights, I immediately found a spot for it on my shelves, between Season of Migration to the North and Naondel. And suddenly I was truck by how small an object it is. It spans so many topics and countries and centuries that it should be Atlas-sized, or several volumes … Continue reading REVIEW: FLIGHTS, BY OLGA TOKARCZUK, TRANSLATED BY JENNIFER CROFT (2017)

REVIEW: LOVE, BY HANNE ØRSTAVIK, TRANSLATED BY MARTIN AITKEN (2018)

Female characters tend not to win literary awards. This according to data collected by novelist Nicola Griffith (who happens to have written one of my favourite books of all time, Hild). I don't know if Sarah Hall (who happens to be one of my favourite authors of all time) knew this when she said, in … Continue reading REVIEW: LOVE, BY HANNE ØRSTAVIK, TRANSLATED BY MARTIN AITKEN (2018)

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)

REVIEW: NAONDEL, BY MARIA TURTSCHANINOFF, TRANSLATED BY A.A. PRIME (2017)

TW: rape. From the very first page, we know how Naondel ends: seven women escape a life of imprisonment and oppression by sailing away on the eponymous boat; they live the rest of their lives on a magical island; on the island they create a feminist utopia where women and girls from across the world find … Continue reading REVIEW: NAONDEL, BY MARIA TURTSCHANINOFF, TRANSLATED BY A.A. PRIME (2017)

REVIEW: MARESI, BY MARIA TURTSCHANINOFF, TRANSLATED BY ANNIE PRIME (2016)

From the start, we know not everything will be alright. Maresi, the novel's eponymous young narrator, tells us that she does not want to bring it all up again--the smell of blood, the sound of crunching bone--and that it is difficult to talk about death. Nevertheless, she must write, so that the events she witnessed, … Continue reading REVIEW: MARESI, BY MARIA TURTSCHANINOFF, TRANSLATED BY ANNIE PRIME (2016)

DOUBLE REVIEW: GHACHAR GHOCHAR AND THE MUSSEL FEAST

A family whirring away like clockwork, day in day out, everybody with their specified roles and functions, everybody more or less happy to be a smaller part within a collective--until an unexpected interruption of their normal rhythms exposes the sinister nature of what keeps the machinery going. This description could apply both to Vivek Shanbhag's … Continue reading DOUBLE REVIEW: GHACHAR GHOCHAR AND THE MUSSEL FEAST

REVIEW: THE EMPRESS AND THE CAKE, BY LINDA STIFT, TRANSLATED BY JAMIE BULLOCH (2016)

TW: bulimia. What a strange, strange book. What a strange, strange, strange book. The Empress and the Cake is about a young woman's bulimia, but it's also about an elderly woman's obsession with the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-1898), best known to many as "Sissi." After the surprising dedication ("For me") and a suitably decadent … Continue reading REVIEW: THE EMPRESS AND THE CAKE, BY LINDA STIFT, TRANSLATED BY JAMIE BULLOCH (2016)