Prosopopeia

So as announced here, here is my first collection of poetry. It’s genuinely beautifully designed. Click here for a peek at some poems. Here is a very kind review in Am Erker Nr. 71. Here is a review (pdf) of the collection by Wolfgang Ratz. Here is the publisher’s page where you can order the book, if you want.  Or email the publisher directly at order@edition-mantel.ch. Order it for a Uni library if you can do that. Again, I can’t do anything about the pricing, although I’m sort of hoping to find out eventually how to have it available through German bookstores. What is Prosopopeia?prospopo 1908494_10204442379557863_3227440774869943416_n 10336619_10204442384397984_606714624468989919_n

“Hey Marcel, I think your review is awful”: My 2014 in Book Reviews

10922461_10205789576805726_6206837516593422556_nSo in one of the few comments I get, it was pointed out that 5 years ago, I published a less than stellar review. So…that’s true. As I said in my autumn announcement, I was trying to rev up my reviewing last year. If you know this blog and all the time it’s been around, you may not have noticed the near coma it was in for a few years. Since my announcement I published a few reviews. None of them are close reading analyses, and similarly awful as the incriminated 2009 review. They just offer an opinion. It’s 10 reviews overall. which sounds like little, but in 2013 I merely put up 5 reviews and 2012 only 3. That means I wrote more last year than in the two previous years put together (it was 9 reviews in 2011, so more than that, too). Might not be a lot, but I’m mostly happy with this. Below is an overview of the books I reviewed.

I reviewed Damon Galgut’s debut called The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs. I am a fan of the writer. I think that shows in my review.

I reviewed Denise Mina’s crime novel Field of Blood, which is a more than solid entry in the genre, heightened by its perceptiveness of social and gender issues.

I reviewed Lawrence Norfolk’s most recent book John Saturnall’s Feast. Norfolk is one of my favorite writer and parts of the review ended up being a comment on his career so far, to contextualize my disappointment with what, really, is an excellent novel.

I reviewed Ilija Trojanow’s Global Warming novel EisTau. It hasn’t been translated yet but it should. It’s very good and should lend itself well to translations.

I reviewed Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a YA novel on suicide and mental illness. My review has a few rants on YA books as well as generally books on suicide.

I reviewed Jen Williams’s debut fantasy novel The Copper Promise, which is a more than solid entry in its genre. Great fun. The review doubles as a review of Wiebe and Upchurch’s first Rat Queens trade which is fantastic.

I reviewed John Irving’s most recent book In One Person. Irving is one of my favorite novelists. It shows in my review. Ron Charles calls Irving “America’s most uneven great writer”. He’s not wrong. In One Person, however, is one of his very best books.

I reviewed Joanna Rakoff’s memoir My Salinger Year, which is not a great read, but might be a good gift? This is the only pan I wrote this year.

I reviewed the first four trades of Jason Aaron’s Scalped. Aaron is very good. Scalped is very good. There are problems with it. I get a bit righteous about them towards the end.

As my final review of 2014 I reviewed Patrick Modiano’s debut novel La place de l’étoile, which doubles as an assessment of the 2014 Nobel Prize winner. I was very unhappy about that win, and I *might* have yelled about it on Twitter. In my review/comment I chose to emphasize what I like about his work.

Have a happy 2015.

Blogroll updated

I updated my blogroll. If you don’t have the habit of looking at my margins, check the full list here. Any suggestions are very welcome. Some posts seem dead, but that’s to do with troubles at the blogsport provider. All blogs you can access are fantastic.

News, I guess.

So I will attempt to post reviews again. I am also finishing up both a translation of Uwe Kullnick‘s stories and my actual PhD, but I find writing reviews helps me clear my mind. So they are going to be, well, maybe not very good. I will try to sustain it for longer than I have managed before, and the signs are good, because I prewrote 4 reviews already, so even if I get another breakdown or get stuck in something else, there’s material that goes up. There might also be personal essays. I am sort of aiming for once every 4 days, but we’ll see. If you want to support me doing this, there’s a Paypal Button somewhere on this site. I think I moved it to the left side of the blog at the moment. If you have suggestions, comments, love letters or poems for me, you can leave them in the comments or send them to shigekuniblog [at] rocketmail [dot] de. It’s a snazzy address, I know. I am very proud. Despite the hedging earlier, I genuinely hope you like the reviews. They are not going to all be of the same length or kinds of books, but they are all going to be written by me. Whether that’s a threat or a boon is up for you to decide.

Thank you to all readers who have stuck around. Have a nice day. First review up early tomorrow morning. We’ll go from there.

Pictured below my Russian family. I am the blonde (yup) boy held up by the very tan old man, my step-grandfather who died some 12 years ago.

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