A Nail, A Rose and Other Stories

Title: A Nail, A Rose and Other Stories (original title Sept Nouvelles) Writer: Madeleine Bourdouxhe (translated by Faith Evans) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 (first published 1985) Rating:  5 stars ‘’All around them, the earth was black and white. A beautiful winter night-smell rose up from the black and white earth. A…

Springtime In a Broken Mirror

Title: Springtime in a Broken Mirror (original title Primavera con una esquina rota) Writer: Mario Benedetti (translated by Nick Caistor) Publishing House: Penguin Books Ltd Date of Publication: April 30th 2019 first published 1982 Rating: 3 stars ‘’Tonight I am alone. […] I can think more clearly. I don’t have to screen myself off to think of you. You’ll say…

Klotsvog

Title: Klotsvog Writer: Margarita Khemlin (translated by Lisa C. Hayden) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication:August 27th 2019 (first published 2009) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Though I had nobody to call, I often picked it up and said whatever came into my head, paying no attention to the piercing dial tone inside the receiver. I could dial…

The Therapist

Title:The Therapist Writer: Nial Giacomelli Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: August 1st 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’It’s as if someone is cutting into me while I sleep and gradually stitching weights into the muscles and tendons of my body. And though it’s not debilitating I find it harder each day to fight to the surface.’’…

The Barefoot Road

Title: The Barefoot Road Writer: Vivienne Vermes Publishing House: Troubador Publishing Limited Date of Publication: April 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Curse the funeral, curse the fact we have to die, curse the fact we have to love, curse the night and curse the day.’’ A dark night is violently lit by torches burning bright. Screams, people running, cries demanding…

Strange Pilgrims

Title: Strange Pilgrims (original title:Doce cuentos peregrinos Writer: Gabriel Garcia Márquez (tr. by Edith Grossman) Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: November 14th 2006 (first published 1992) ‘’A continent conceived by the scum of the earth without a moment of love: the children of abductions, rapes, violations, infamous dealings, deceptions, the union of enemies with enemies.’’ Father…

In the Shadow of Wolves

Title: In the Shadow of Wolves (original title Mano vardas – Marytė) Writer: Alvydas Šlepikas tr. by Romas Kinka Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 Rating:2 stars ‘’People appear as if emerging through a mist, a snowstorm, a winter fog; they grow dark, casting a shadow on the trampled, blood-soaked earth, and then are gone.’’…

Atlantic Winds

Title: Atlantic Winds Writer: William Prendiville Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Αutumn came to Bear Lake late that year, and in November a relative mildness still lingered, before the shock of winter. The snows had not yet come, but it was nevertheless still bracing enough by Guy Fawkes Night for everyone to…

Death of a River Guide

Title: Death of a River Guide Writer: Richard Flanagan Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: May 26th 2016 (first published 1994) Rating: 5 stars ‘’One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. But what connects the two? What remains? What abideth in the earth forever?’’ My introduction to Richard Flanagan’s work was the award-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep…

I Am Heathcliff

Title: I Am Heathcliff: Stories Inspired by Wuthering Heights Writer: Various curated by Kate Mosse Publishing House: The Borough Press Date of Publication: July 26th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Archetypes. Stories that seem bigger than the books that contain them. Wuthering Heights is such a book. Cathy and Heathcliff are such characters.’’ I have longed and dreaded to read this…

I Who Have Never Known Men

Title: I Who Have Never Known Men (original title:Moi qui n’ai pas connu les hommes) Writer: Jacqueline Harpman Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 (first published 1995) Rating: 5 stars ‘’My memory begins with anger.’’ Yes, I found a Dystopian novel I love more than 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale. Forty women live…

Folk

Title: Folk Writer: Zoe Gilbert Publishing House: Bloomsbury UK Date of Publication: February 8th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Listen, for the beat that runs through the gorce maze. It is an early twilight, the opening between last sun and first star, the door of the day closing until, soon, night will seal it shut. There are feet thudding in the…

The Doll’s Alphabet

Τitle: The Doll’s Alphabet Writer: Camilla Grudova Publishing House: Coffee House Press Date of Publication: October 17th 2017 (first published February 14th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’A woman discovered that a bunch of her jewels had faces carved into them, someone else a gargoyle tattoo on their back, and a car was found with three stone kings sitting inside.’’ I…

The Hotel Tito

Title: The Hotel Tito (original title Hotel Zagorje) Writer: Ivana Simić Bodrožić Publishing House: Seven Stories Press UK Date of Publication: September 21st 2017  (first published 2010) Rating: 1 star Some of my favourite writers are Croatian. Talented, intelligent people whose objective view on such a delicate matter as the 1990s conflicts delivers stories that are heartfelt, evocative and…

Wakenhyrst

Title: Wakenhyrst Writer: Michelle Paver Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: April 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I…

Madame Zero

Title: Madame Zero Writer: Sarah Hall Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: July 4th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The morning is clear, a few high clouds banking on the horizon. Dawn has come and gone, but it still feels fresh and damp and clean. You cycle through the hospital grounds, past the crematorium and across a small…

The Bookshop

Title: The Bookshop Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: January 30th 2014 (first published 1978) Rating: 5 stars ”A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life,” and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity. ” Sometimes you have to fight against…

Lanny

Title: Lanny Writer: Max Porter Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: March 7th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It would have been the head of a dolphin and the wings of a peregrine, and it would be a storm-watching beast, watching the weather while we sleep.’’ Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers has been on my list…

Suspended Heart

Title: Suspended Heart Writer: Heather Fowler Publishing House: Pink Narcissus Press Date of Publication: May 15th 2019 (originally published December 17th 2010) Rating: 3 stars If you follow my reviews, you’ll know that Magical Realism is a great love of mine, especially when combined with Literary Fiction.Short Stories collections are on the rise and justifiably so. The ambiguous closures and…

False Bingo: Stories

Title: False Bingo: Stories Writer: Jac Jemc Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: October 8th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am a problem without a solution. I am a question without an answer. I am a poison without an antidote. I will never know what it is I’ve done.’’ I fell under Jac Jemc’s spell what I…