Jerusalem Beach

Title: Jerusalem Beach (original title: חוף הים של ירושלים) Writer: Iddo Gefen (translated by Daniella Zamir) Publishing House: Astra House Date of Publication: August 17th 2021 (first published August 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’A month and a half later, he packed a bag, stuffing it with four undershirts, five pairs of underwear, a flashlight, two…

Women In Translation Month

August is already preparing to knock on our doors and we know what this means, right? It’s Women In Translation Month, the time when we discover – and re-read (he, he, he!) outstanding women whose work has been translated into English from every corner of our beautiful planet. These are the books I’ve read and…

The Master of Chaos

Title: The Master of Chaos Writer: Pauline Melville Publishing House: Sandstone Press Date of Publication: July 1st 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’All I wanted to do was hurt him. Death was my way of reviving his love for me, punishing him and finally gaining victory in the contest.’’ In Pauline Melville’s stories, chaos comes in…

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 –…

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…

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…

Untold Night and Day

Title: Untold Night and Day (original title: 알려지지 않은 밤과 하루) Writer: Bae Suah (translated by Deborah Smith) Publishing House: Jonathan Cape Date of Publication: January 30th 2020 (first published April 20th 2013) Rating: 5 stars ‘’By the time the heatwave came to an end, nothing remained of the people but ash. They became fused…

Then A Wind Blew

Title: Then A Wind Blew Writer: Kay Powell Publishing House: Weaver Press Date of Publication: January 26th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’She loved to be out in the stoep at night, her only companions the wind that sang in the long grass and the nights calls of distant animals. And the crickets, with their non-stop…

The Diving Pool

Title: The Diving Pool and Other Stories (original title: (ダイヴィング・プール) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 2nd 2014 (first published 1990) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Since I was a little girl, I’ve disliked the thirtieth of December. I could always get through the thirty-first by telling myself…

Τhe Garden of Forking Paths

Title: The Garden of Forking Paths Writer: Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Donald A.Yates, Andrew Hurley, James E.Irby Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Summer was drawing to a close, and I realised that the book was monstrous.’’ Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most prominent Argentinian…

The Secret Life of Books: Why They Mean More Than Words

Title: The Secret Life of Books:Why They Mean More than Words Writer: Tom Mole Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: October 29th 2020  (first published September 19th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Books are part of how we understand ourselves. They shape our identities, even before we can read them. They accompany us throughout…

Flowers of Mold

Title: Flowers of Mold (original title 옆집 여자) Writer: Ha Seong-Nan (tr. by Janet Hong) Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 23rd 2019 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Teacher, I want to fly, but the ground keeps pulling me down.’’ Korean Literature is rapidly flourishing thanks to a plethora of wonderful women…

Miracle On Cherry Hill

Title: Miracle On Cherry Hill (original title: 뒤뜰에 골칫거리가 산다) Writer: Sun – mi Hwang (translated by Chi-Young Kim) Publishing House: Abacus Date of Publication: July 4th 2019 (first published 2014) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It rained for two days straight. The trees howled in the back garden and angry rain lashed against the windows. Kand…

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Title: Before the Coffee Gets Cold (original title: コーヒーが冷めないうちに) Writer: Toshikazu Kawaguchi (tr. by Geoffrey Trousselot) Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: September 19th 2019 (first published December 6th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The cafe’s name was Funiculi Funicula. It had become famous, with long queues each day, an account of time-travelling. But it wasn’t…

Tokyo Ueno Station

Title:Tokyo Ueno Station (original title: JR上野駅公園口) Writer: Yū Miri (translated by Morgan Giles) Publishing House: Tilted Axis Press Date of Publication: March 4th 2019 (first published March 19th 2014) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I used to think life was like a book: you turn the first page, and there’s the next, and as you go on turning…

Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez

Title: Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez Writer: Gabriel García Márquez Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: March 6th 2014  (first published November 1st 1984) Rating: 5 stars “Only his own death came between him and his grave. Resigned, he listened to the drop, thick, heavy, exact, as it dripped in the other world, in…