Category Archive: Review

LIVES SUSPENDED: An Essay on ‘Refugee Tales’ and ‘Refugee Tales II’, edited by David Herd and Anna Pincus

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This essay is part of our Threat Levels series. In 2006, the UK passed from a seemingly more casual and non-specific BIKINI state to a more serious state of threat, varying from substantial to critical. The… Continue reading

EIBF 2017: TRAVELOGUE WITH A TRAVELOGUE OF TRAVELOGUES* – Outriders

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This is one of a number of pieces covering events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which runs from 12th–28th August 2017 at Charlotte Square Gardens and George Street, Edinburgh. The events ‘Outriders: Mariana Enriquez & Kevin… Continue reading

“THE HASH SMOKERS ARE GOING OUT TO SHOPLIFT SCOTCH EGGS”: CHERYL FOLLON’S ‘SANTIAGO’

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Cheryl Follon, Santiago (Bloodaxe Books, 2017) Review by A. C. Clarke. ‘I took my insomnia down the white-hot heat of a two-mile strip’: from the first sentence of the first poem in this beguiling… Continue reading

EIBF 2017: A SYMPATHISING EYE ON TRANSLATION – the Man Booker International Award

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This is one of a number of pieces covering events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which runs from 12th–28th August 2017 at Charlotte Square Gardens and George Street, Edinburgh. The events covered took place on the… Continue reading

“BLESSED IS HE WHO LEAVES”: Olga Tokarczuk’s ‘Flights’, translated by Jennifer Croft

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Olga Tokarczuk, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) by Marta Dziurosz I first saw Fitzcarraldo’s English edition of Flights (and its strikingly blue, minimalistic cover) a good while before its official publication date,… Continue reading

“WE”: BRIT BENNETT’S ‘THE MOTHERS’

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Brit Bennett The Mothers (Riverhead, 2016) By Rachel Sykes For Brit Bennett’s debut, the novel’s title serves more as a question. Set in a small southern Californian black community, The Mothers is populated with many… Continue reading

STORIES FROM THE MIND’S EYE: Camilla Grudova’s ‘The Doll’s Alphabet’

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Camilla Grudova, The Doll’s Alphabet (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) By Naomi Richards The Doll’s Alphabet is a startling debut collection of short stories by Canadian writer Camilla Grudova. The stories are beautiful, disturbing and… Continue reading

PRESENT MORTALITY: RYAN VAN WINKLE’S ‘THE GOOD DARK’

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Ryan Van Winkle, The Good Dark (Penned in the Margins, 2015) Review by Andrew Wells This collection’s opening poem, ‘The Duke in Pines’, begins with a structurally straightforward de-clarative: “I woke up with… Continue reading

BEHIND THE IRONIC CURTAIN: ‘Mikhail and Margarita’ by Julia Lekstrom Himes

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Julia Lekstrom Himes, Mikhail and Margarita (Europa Editions, 2017) By Henry King “The unacknowledged legislators of the world”, remarked W.H. Auden, in a rebuke to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s romanticism, “describes the secret police, not… Continue reading

OCEAN DEEP: J. O. Morgan’s ‘In Casting Off’

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J. O. Morgan, In Casting Off (HappenStance, 2015) Review by Matt Macdonald From a critical standpoint, it would be all too easy to compare In Casting Off with Morgan’s earlier narrative collections, Natural Mechanical and… Continue reading