Monthly Archives: August 2016

‘Conversation is life, language is the deepest being’: The Names by Don DeLillo

“People everywhere are absorbed in conversation. Seated under trees, under striped canopies in the squares, they bend together over food and drink, their voices darkly ravelled in Oriental laments that flow from radios in basements and back kitchens. Conversation is … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, Picador | 2 Comments

Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli (translated by Christina MacSweeney)

I’ve head so many good things about Valeria Luiselli from other bloggers, particularly the positive reviews of The Story of My Teeth such as this one from A Life in Books. I’m always excited to hear about fantastic upcoming writers, … Continue reading

Posted in essays, memoir, non-fiction, travel | 3 Comments

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a reading fug recently. I’m not sure what’s at the root of it except a kind of rootlessness. I am not sure what or how I want to read, I am … Continue reading

Posted in gender, memoir, non-fiction, sexuality | 4 Comments

Books I Ought to Read: No. 1 – Howards End by E. M. Forster

Shortly before I went on my summer holiday I was thinking about reading. Well, I am often thinking about reading: what I want to read, what I want to review, the kinds of books I want to be exposed to; … Continue reading

Posted in Books I Ought to Read, Classics, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich (translated by Anna Gunin and Arch Tait)

“What do savages understand about lightning?” Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015, a win which was greeted with a mass ‘eh’ from the West, as Alexievich was not a well-known writer in the Western literary world. … Continue reading

Posted in health, non-fiction, Penguin Books, politics, science, translation | 9 Comments

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

“The truth was, I thought, looking once more at the letter on my desk which could not now be finished tonight, that I was exhausted with bearing other people’s burdens, or burthens as the nobler language of our great hymn-writers … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, fiction, Virago | 4 Comments

Nowhere Ending Sky by Marlen Haushofer translated by Amanda Prantera

I’ve read both of Marlen Haushofer’s other books translated to English; the brilliant and her most famed work The Wall; and The Loft, a subtler but disturbing work. Nowhere Ending Sky is the only other of her translated works and … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, translation | 7 Comments

Tove Jansson Work and Love by Tuula Karjalainen (translated by David McDuff)

You may have gathered by now that I have more than a healthy level of respect for the wonderful Tove Jansson. A recent BBC documentary, coupled with a re-reading of Fair Play and a convenient week’s holiday during which I … Continue reading

Posted in Art, biography, non-fiction, translation | 10 Comments