“Keeping / the window open” Brings Together a Fascinating Trove of Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop’s Work
Reviewed by Allison Grimaldi-Donahue
From interview to collage, from poetry to prose, from the 1950s to the 2000s, this volume edited by Ben Lerner combines a generous compendium of the Waldrops' work as poets, translators and publishers with a selection of essays and interviews in which they meditate on their craft.
Reviewed by Benjamin Woodard
A novel first published in Thailand in 2003 and a collection of short-stories stretching back to the mid-1990s, both now available in English for the first time, show a confident writer at the top of her game, with a distinctive skill to conjure unique personalities on the page.
Reviewed by Anjie Zheng
From sharp-edged social criticism to extravagant and alluring imagery, this collection of short-stories displays the wide range of the genre in contemporary China
Reviewed by Hannah Weber
Since its original publication in 1980, this genre-defying book has gained a cult reputation that established Jovanović as an important counterculture figure in Serbia. Written in a highly experimental style, the book follows a woman’s coming of age in 1970s Belgrade, creating a fragmentary amalgam of life in socialist Belgrade, intense sexual relationships, and family conflicts in the shadow of old age.
Reviewed by Lily Meyer
A new novel by the Swedish author reads like a caricature of sexism in the literary world that ends up being as sexist as its misogynous protagonist.
Reviewed by Jamie Mackay
By fusing a dialect-laden verse with knowledge and respect for Dante’s original, the Scottish writer and illustrator has built a bridge across borders and nations.
Reviewed by Susan Aberth
Edited by Mary Ann Caws, this anthology delivers new insights into this radical movement and rectifies past omissions to its canon with more intellectually daring and provocative non-French and female voices.
Reviewed by Andrew Hungate
This collection of early stories by the celebrated Chinese author shows a writer determined to make a name for himself in a literary world that at the time was rife with experimentation.
Reviewed by Jeff Tompkins
In this book of essays, Ugresic juxtaposes reflections on the fate of her country with observations on everyday life in America.
Reviewed by Lily Meyer
The Brazilian-Argentine writer's novel resists drama. It resists the impulse to exaggerate, maybe even the impulse to tell stories.
Reviewed by Lynne Diamond-Nigh
In this fictional account of the last days of a long journey through Europe undertaken by Cavafy in 1897, the Greek poet's struggle against conventions, social and personal, takes center stage.
Reviewed by Jocelyn Frelier
In this charged work of autofiction, Bey explores her ties with the Algerian War for Independence, during which her father was killed.
Reviewed by Peter Campion
"We, Day By Day" is Jin Eun-Young’s first full collection published in English. Early on, she encountered Korean poetry of the 1980s and its spirit of political protest and carried the conviction and intensity of those verses into more mysterious, interior realms.
Reviewed by Ane Farsethås
In her novel "Wait, Blink", Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug devises a whimsical, yet earnest probe into the human condition, filled with a dizzy range of topics. From golf books to “the essence of life”, from Tarantino to Dante, passing though fictions about the dream life of president George W. Bush and the childhood of literary theorist Paul de Man, it’s all equally worth a moment of curious observation.
A Quietly Radical Tale of the Rise and Fall of Communist Russia in Eugene Vodolazkin’s “The Aviator”
Reviewed by Sam George Jackson
Born in 1900, Innokenty Petrovich Platonov wakes up one day to find himself in a modern hospital, in 1999, with the body of a young man and memories that barely reach the 1930s. As he strives to figure out what happened to him, personal memories and historical investigation combine to create a harrowing narrative of Russia's history in the XX century, from the makings of revolution to the collapse of the Communist regime. "The Aviator" is a quietly radical novel, which challenges contemporary official narratives about Russia's past.
Reviewed by Emily Roese
A French bestseller and winner of the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, "Small Country" holds a mirror to the childhood of the Burundi-born rapper and author Gaël Faye, who emigrated to France with his French father, Rwandan mother, and younger sister in the 1990s. They were a Tusi family living in Burundi and decided to flee when they realized that the conflicts in war-torn Rwanda threatened their lives. In his perceptiveness, developing love of literature and nostalgia for a pre-war idyll, Gaby calls as much to Faye’s history as it does to the artistic career he would follow.
Reviewed by Anne Posten
Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger was an important figure in the “Gruppe 47,” the seminal meetings that significantly shaped post-war German literature, but remains largely unknown outside of the German-speaking word. The late short prose works collected in "Bad words" show how she grappled with a language grown unusable and unruly after the horrors of the Second World War. In her daring and masterful texts, Aichinger wrote against or through a language that could no longer be trusted; a language become foreign, which could only be reclaimed through further foreignization—or through silence.
In “Moon Brow,” Shahriar Mandanipour Recounts the Iranian Revolution Through the Fragments of Trauma
Reviewed by Damara Atrigol Pratt
"Moon Brow", by Shahriar Mandanipour, recounts the recent history of Iran through a fragmented narrative structure that emulates the disjointed remembrances of trauma. While the political facets of its story report the grim consequences of the Iranian Revolution, the physical and emotional world described in the novel is alive with vivid and provocative encounters. The book offers beauty while confronting the ugliness of revolution, oppression, and war.
Reviewed by Ángel Gurría-Quintana
In "Tomb Song", Julián Herbert combines a visceral lament about his mother's death from leukaemia with a scathing portrayal of Mexican society. The book’s title plays on the Spanish expression for a lullaby – a cradle song. Except that here the narrator – also named Julián Herbert – is keeping vigil over his dying mother in a hospital room in the north-eastern Mexican city of Saltillo, and writing the book as a way of finding comfort while coming to terms with her life.
Reviewed by Mary Ann Scheuer
Ulf Stark and Linda Bondestam’s sweetly eccentric picture book "My Little Small" tells the story of a creature who lives alone in a cave until she befriends a sun spark. On the surface, it’s a story of finding a small friend to care for. Dig a little deeper, and Stark’s philosophical ruminations come through.