Book review: Down Second Avenue by Es’kia Mphahlele (1919-2008, South Africa)

Down Second Avenue is a work of non-fiction, sometimes sub-titled “Growing Up in a South African Ghetto”, that documents the formative years of Es’kia (Ezekiel) Mphahlele, dubbed the “father of black South African writing”. The book was first published in the UK in 1959, and in the USA in 1971, and I read the Penguin …

Book Review: Fifty Sounds by Polly Barton (UK)

I read a very enjoyable non-fiction book by Polly Barton, who is a translator of literature from Japanese, which was published by the wonderful Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2021. Fitzcarraldo produce such beautiful books, that I’d be tempted to buy them for home decor reasons alone! Fifty Sounds combines three of my interests: memoir, language acquisition …