Review no 12: Edna O’Brien, The Little Red Chairs (Ireland)

EUROPE Irish writer Edna O’Brien is probably best known for her classic prize-winning novel Country Girls, published in 1960.  It dealt with sex and social issues in post-World War 2 Ireland, and was reportedly not only banned there, but set alight and denounced in church. O’Brien’s career has spanned some 60 years, and she has …

Review no 10: Oyinkan Braithwaite – My Sister, The Serial Killer (Nigeria)

AFRICA As I’m trying to work my way through books, film and art from across the world, it makes sense to ensure that I’m not spending too much time in one region. I need an even spread of countries from all five of the regions that I’ve divided the world -roughly evenly – into. So …

Review no 8: Leila Slimani, Chanson douce (Lullaby)

MOROCCO / FRANCE : NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA My daughter told me I had to be honest about how long this book took me to read. I bought it in French in Paris a year ago, and did little more than dip into it until this summer. I studied French at university, …

Review no 1: Tove Jansson (1914-2001) , The True Deceiver (Finland)

Translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal EUROPE **** “I loved this book. It’s cool in both senses of the word, understated yet exciting …. The characters still haunt me.” – Ruth Rendell It wasn’t until I went to an amazing exhibition on the life and work of Tove Jansson at Dulwich Picture Gallery in …