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 7: Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys (USA)

THE AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN It might seem like cheating to discuss a book by an American author so early on in this project, when the whole point is surely to open my eyes to other parts of the world. But after reading this short, devastating and immersive book I felt it had earned a …

Review no 5: Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World (Turkey)

NORTH AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA I went to see Elif Shafak speak at an event at the British Library recently, and was impressed. A political scientist and champion of minority rights as well as an author, she’s charismatic, beautiful and spoke intelligently of the need for engagement between cultures in order to challenge …

Review no 2: Sam Selvon (1923-1994), The Lonely Londoners (Trinidad and Tobago)

THE AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN “I think I can say without a trace of modesty that I was the first Caribbean writer to explore and employ dialect in a full-length novel where it was used in both narrative and dialogue” – Sam Selvon The Lonely Londoners, Sam Selvon’s most famous novel, was published in 1956, …

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 …