Warren Ellis/ Phil Hester: Shipwreck

Ellis, Warren; Phil Hester et al. (2018), Shipwreck, Aftershock ISBN 9781935002802 If you read comics, you will have come across Phil Hester’s work here or there – he’s inescapable. And not like the ubiquitous mediocre artists. Hester’s work is always … Continue reading

Jorge Ibargüengoitia: The Dead Girls

Ibargüengoitia, Jorge (2018 [1977/1983]), The Dead Girls, Picador ISBN 978-1509870172 Translated by Asa Zatz For a novel called “The Dead Girls,” Mexican author Jorge Ibargüengoitia isn’t particularly interested in said dead girls. In the introduction to the new edition of … Continue reading

A Note on Özlem Özgül Dündar

Dündar, Özlem Özgül (2018), Gedanken Zerren, Elif Verlag ISBN 978-3-946989-07-3 After a review of Anna Stern, who will read at this year’s Bachmannpreis, I want to turn to another very intriguing writer, similarly young, also slated to perform in Klagenfurt … Continue reading

Two novels by Anna Stern

Stern, Anna (2014), Schneestill, Salis ISBN 978-3-906195-17-9 Stern, Anna (2016), Der Gutachter, Salis ISBN 9783906195438 This coming Thursday, the Bachmannpreis will begin again and I will, again, follow along, glued to the TV screen. Excitement, excitement, excitement. I will write … Continue reading

Sasha Marianna Salzmann: Ausser Sich

Salzmann, Sasha Marianna (2017), Ausser Sich, Suhrkamp ISBN 978-3-518-42762-0 This was not, strictly speaking, the next review I wanted to write, but after I finished it this morning I was so impressed, so genuinely stunned by this book that I … Continue reading

Barbi Marković: Superheldinnen

Marković, Barbi (2016), Superheldinnen, Residenz ISBN 978-3-7ß17-1662-3 I’ve discussed this issue before: how do you define a German novel? Some of the most interesting books published in the German-speaking countries recently have complicated this question beyond the usual distinction between … Continue reading

Samanta Schweblin: Fever Dream

Schweblin, Samanta (2017), Fever Dream, Oneworld [Translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell] ISBN 978-1-78607-090-6 There is only one other book I know that is like this: it’s Lessing’s The Fifth Child. And it’s not just the nightmare depiction of parenthood … Continue reading

Juan Pablo Villalobos: Down the Rabbit Hole

Villalobos, Juan Pablo (2010), Down The Rabbit Hole, And Other Stories [Translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey] ISBN 978-1-908276-00-1 I was emailed an article two days ago about someone or other who was decapitated by the MS-13 gang in Mississippi … Continue reading

Wioletta Greg: Swallowing Mercury

Greg, Wioletta, Swallowing Mercury, Portobello ISBN 978-1-84627-607-1 [Translated from the Polish by Eliza Marciniak] Look, it’s not that I regretted reading this book; it was, after all, fairly short. On the other hand, I’m not particularly elated about the fact … Continue reading

Jacques Chessex: A Jew Must Die

Chessex, Jacques (2009), Un Juif Pour L’exemple, Grasset ISBN 09782253129615-4 [English edition: Chessex, Jacques, A Jew Must Die, Bitter Lemon Press ISBN 9781904738510 translated by W. Donald Wilson] I’ve long meant to write something about the Swiss novelist and poet … Continue reading

Marjorie Liu et al.: Monstress

Liu, Marjorie and Sana Takeda (2016), Monstress, Vol. 1, Image Comics ISBN 978-1632157096 Gibson, Claire, Sloane Leong and Marian Churchland (2016), From Under Mountains, Vol. 1, Image Comics ISBN 978-1632159441 Marjorie Liu is slowly but surely growing into one of … Continue reading

Margaret Atwood et al.: Angel Catbird

Atwood, Margaret; Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain (2016), Angel Catbird, Dark Horse ISBN 978-1-50670-063-2 I wrote the first sentence of this review before reading the book. Angel Catbird arrived here this afternoon, and I immediately noted down this sentence: “This is … Continue reading

Ellen Forney: Marbles – Mania, Depression, Michelangelo + Me

Forney, Ellen (2012), Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo + Me, Robinson ISBN 978-1-4721-0689-6 You know how when you feel a bit unwell and you go on WebMD and suddenly, you feel as though you were dying of a terminal illness because … Continue reading

Line Hoven: Love Looks Away

Hoven, Line (2008), Liebe schaut weg, Reprodukt ISBN 978-3-938511-66-4 [Translated into English as Love Looks Away (2014) Blank Slate Books ISBN: 978-1-906653-18-7] The great medievalist Jacques Le Goff, in discussing memory, posits that what we call memory is really an … Continue reading

Fouad Laroui: The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers

Laroui, Fouad (2016), The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers, Deep Vellum Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan ISBN 978-1-941920-26-8 Maybe the particular quality of Fouad Laroui’s humorous fiction is best described with a phrase from his 2010 novel Une … Continue reading

Sharon Dodua Otoo: Synchronicity

Otoo, Sharon Dodua (2015), Synchronicity, Edition Assemblage With Illustrations by Sita Ngoumou ISBN 978-3-942885-95-9 Otoo, Sharon Dodua (2012), The Things I am Thinking While Smiling Politely, Edition Assemblage ISBN 978-3-942885-22-5 Is this German literature? Sharon Otoo is not a German … Continue reading

Yvonne Vera: Butterfly Burning

Vera, Yvonne (2000), Butterfly Burning, Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN 0-374-29186-1 So here is another example of me being awfully badly read. The late Yvonne Vera was a leading/important novelist from Zimbabwe, winner of multiple literary awards. And this is … Continue reading

Takashi Hiraide: The Guest Cat

Hiraide, Takashi (2014), The Guest Cat, Picador [Translated by Eric Selland] ISBN 978-1-4472-7940-2 For my birthday a year and a half ago, my sister brought me a cat, as, I suspect, a therapy animal/companion. I love cats, and my sister … Continue reading

Glyn Dillon: The Nao of Brown

Dillon, Glyn (2012), The Nao of Brown, Selfmadehero ISBN 978-1-906838-42-3 So this is some odd coincidence. Fresh on the heels of reviewing a book that is artfully crafted but does not, ultimately, feel like a success, I have just read … Continue reading

David Ebershoff: The Danish Girl

Ebershoff, David (2000), The Danish Girl, Penguin ISBN 9-780143-108399 Usually, the advantage of a novel dealing with a real life character vis-à-vis a nonfiction work, say a biography or a historical study, is the ability to gain vividness, color, excitement. … Continue reading

Valeria Luiselli: Faces in the Crowd

Luiselli, Valeria (2011), Faces in the Crowd, Granta [Translated from the Spanish by Christine MacSweeney] ISBN 978-1-84708-507-8 It’s entirely accidental that my last review of 2015 and my first review of 2016 are both of novels by Mexican authors. Both … Continue reading

Young-Ha Kim: I have the right to destroy myself

Young-Ha Kim (2007), I have the right to destroy myself, Harcourt [Translated by Chi-Young Kim] ISBN 978-0-15-603080-9 So, as you’ll notice in this review, I am so extremely under-read in Korean literature that all my frames of reference for this … Continue reading

Max Porter: Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Porter, Max (2015), Grief is the thing with feathers, Faber and Faber ISBN 978-0-571-32376-0 When you don’t have a lot of time to read for entertainment, you can get the impression that you can’t really be surprised anymore. At least … Continue reading

Nobel Prize 2015: My picks.

So originally I planned on mostly just reposting my old 2014 picks (because I, uh, picked wrong, as always), but I did end up modifying them. I mean, look, I have become very impatient with the insistence of the Academy to … Continue reading

Maryse Condé: En Attendant La Montée Des Eaux

Condé, Maryse (2010), En Attendant La Montée Des Eaux, JCLattès ISBN 978-2-7096-3321-5 So, this feels a bit odd. En Attendant La Montée Des Eaux is the first novel I have read by Maryse Condé. Condé is, incidentally, nominated for the … Continue reading

Leonardo Sciascia: To Each His Own

Sciascia, Leonardo (2000, 1966), To Each His Own, NYRB [Translated from the Italian by Adrienne Foulke] ISBN 978-0-940322-52-3 How is this for coincidence. After finishing To Each His Own, the first and (so far) only novel by the famous Italian … Continue reading

John Scalzi: Lock In

Scalzi, John (2014), Lock In, Tor ISBN 978-0-7653-8132-3 [A note: this review has somehow turned out very digressive, so here’s a quick tl,dr summary of my opinion: Lock In is an intelligent, fun, exciting science fiction novel built around a … Continue reading