Review no 27: Han Kang, Human Acts (South Korea)

FAR EAST, SOUTH ASIA AND AUSTRALASIA Translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith When it came to choosing a female South Korean writer, there was really no choice to be made. Han Kang is a previous winner of the Man Booker International Prize, and two of her novels recently made it onto the top 5 […]

Review no 25: Hanne Ørstavik, Love (Norway)

I loved this short, sharp shock of a novel. Think you’re a bad mother? It’s ok, you’re not as bad as Vibeke.

Review no 21: Scholastique Mukasonga, Our Lady of the Nile (Rwanda)

AFRICA Translated from the French by Melanie Mauthner I serendipitously found my copy of this book in a secondhand bookshop in Herne Hill, South London, which I’ve found to be an unexpected and excitingly ripe source of obscure works of fiction in translation. The husband – amusingly but perhaps a bit meanly – suggested that […]

Review no 17: Tove Ditlevsen (1917-78), The Copenhagen Trilogy (Denmark)

EUROPE Translated from the Danish by Tiina Nunally (vols 1&2) and Michael Favala Goldman (vol 3) Penguin Books recently published Tove Divletsen’s autobiographical Copenhagen Trilogy as a beautiful three-volume set, entitled Childhood, Youth and Dependency (in Danish Barndom, Ungdom and Gift). They are gorgeous editions, and a pleasure to own, but it is a little […]

Review no 16: Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream (Argentina)

Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN This is a short sharp shock of a book, a hallucinatory horror story that builds up a constant hum of excruciating tension over its 150 pages. Published in Spanish as Distancia de rescate (Rescue Distance), the modern gothic, body-swap novella is apparently inspired by […]

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 […]