Before You Knew My Name

Title: Before You Knew My Name Writer: Jacqueline Bublitz Publishing House: Allen & Unwin Date of Publication: May 4th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Maybe the people who appear brave are merely doing the thing they have to do. It’s not a matter of courage, then, to pack up and leave a life. Just a lack…

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Title: The Woman in the Purple Skirt Writer: Natsuko Imamura (translated by Lucy North) Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published June 30th 2019) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Some people would pretend they hadn’t seen her, and carry on as before. Others would quickly move aside, to give her room…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café (original title: 在謊言拆穿之前) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (translated by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 (first published April 27th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’That night… Around the station there stood many Christmas trees, decorated with lights that shone and sparkled. The…

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

Title: The Dangers of Smoking In Bed (original title: Los peligros de fumar en la cama) Writer: Mariana Enriquez (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: January 12th 2021 (first published November 2009) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Or she’d hear a rooster crow in the middle of the night and remember –…

Kink: Stories

Title: Kink: Stories Writer: Various edited by R.O.Kwon and Garth Greenwell. Publishing House: Simon & Schuster UK Date of Publication: February 9th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Bristol, Vermont. Summer – the flies biting. Vermont is named for its green mountains, the man tells her. To her, they look like sleeping animals with soft pelts. With…

Errantry: Strange Stories

Title: Errantry: Strange Stories Writer: Elizabeth Hand Publishing House: Small Beer Press Date of Publication: November 13th 2012 Rating: 3 stars ‘’For as far as he could, there was only night. Ghostly light seeped from a room downstairs onto the silver of lawn. Starlight touched on the endless sweep of moor, like another sea unrolling…

A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray

Title: A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray (original title: Un dimanche à Ville-d’Avray) Writer: Dominique Barbéris (tr. by John Cullen) Publishing House: Other Press Date of Publication: April 27th 2021 (first published 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Some of the houses in the neighbourhood I passed through were still closed up – proof that their owners hadn’t yet…

Fairground Magician

Τitle: Fairground Magician (original title: Vašarski mađioničar) Writer: Jelena Lengold (tr. by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: December 17th 2013 (first published 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It’s not that I need you to love me, but I need to suffer because you don’t.’’ I am a rather weird person. Strange things…

Spring (Seasonal #3)

Title: Spring (Seasonal #3) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: March 28th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’None of it touches me. It’s nothing but water and dust. You’re nothing but bonedust and water. Good. More useful to me in the end. I’m the child who’s been buried in leaves. The leaves…

How to Set Yourself on Fire

Title: How to Set Yourself On Fire Writer: Julia Dixon Evans Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: May 8th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Every wildfire, I feel safe and I don’t feel safe. I care and I don’t care and this is my California. From the concrete walk of the courtyard, I count the…

The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

Title: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales Writer: Kirsty Logan Publishing House: Salt Publishing Date of Publication: March 15th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The more I loved him, the heavier my heart felt, until I was walking around with my back bent and my knees cracking from the weight of it.’’ Twenty stories, twenty masterpieces…

The Lost Soul

Title: The Lost Soul (original title: Zgubiona Dusza Writer: Olga Rokarczuk (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Joanna Concejo) Publishing House: Triangle Square Date of Publication: February 23rd 2021 (first published October 26th 2017) Rating: 5 ‘’If someone could look down on us from above, they’d see that the world is full of people running…

The Emperor of Shoes

Title: The Emperor of Shoes Writer: Spencer Wise Publishing House: Hanover Square Press Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We’ve always been citizens of the world. No, that’s not true. We’ve always been outsiders. On the run.’’ Alex is at a crossroads. Working in his father’s factory in China, he comes in…

A Cage in Search of a Bird

Title: A Cage In Search of a Bird (original title: L’illusion délirante d’être aimé) Writer: Florence Noiville (tr. by Teresa Lavender Fagan) Publishing House: Seagull Books Date of Publication: September 15th 2016 (first published August 18th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Perhaps because I have too much respect for language, I suffer during conversations when nothing…

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Title: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 (original title: 82년생 김지영) Writer: Cho Nam-Joo (tr. by Jamie Chang) Publishing House: Scribner UK Date of Publication: February 20th 2020 (first published October 14th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Help out? What is it with you and ‘’helping out?’’ You’re going to ‘’help out’’ with chores. ‘’Help out’’ with raising…

Lonely Castle In the Mirror

Title: Lonely Castle In The Mirror (original title: かがみの孤城) Writer: Mizuki Tsujimura (translated by Philip Gabriel) Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication:  April 22nd 2021 (first published May 11th 2017) Rating: 2 stars ‘’You are all Little Red Riding Hoods.’’ A lonely castle no one defends, a castle standing alone. A young girl is being…

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets

Title: The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets Writer: Kathleen Alcott Publishing House: Other Press Date of Publication: January 1st 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Skeletons of lovers slumped toward each other in embraces beneath the earth, almost parts of the roots but not quite assimilated, their backs, you could tell, broken. Sad-looking monsters with jugged triangles of…

Winter (Seasonal #2)

Title: Winter (Seasonal #2) Writer: Ali Smith Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: November 2nd 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’God was dead: to begin with. And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The…

What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky

Title: What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky Writer: Lesley Nneka Arimah Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Girls with fire in their bellies will be forced to drink from a well of correction till the flames die out.’’ In this outstanding collection by the…

Open Water

Title: Open Water Writer: Caleb Azumah Nelson Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: April 13th 2021 (first published February 4th 2021) Rating: 5 stars ‘’You came here to speak of shame and its relation to desire. There should be no shame in openly saying, I want this. There should be no shame in not knowing…