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Book Reviews

September 2013

Mario Bellatin’s “Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction”

Reviewed by Heather Cleary

Games are always a serious matter when they are played by the Mexican writer Mario Bellatin.

August 2013

Yu Xiang’s “I Can Almost See the Clouds of Dust”

Reviewed by Naomi Long Eagleson

Yu Xiang’s poems are the poetic equivalent of shoegazer rock.

Vsevolod Nekrasov’s “I Live I See”

Reviewed by Ariell Cacciola

Repetitions were important to Nekrasov: to him monotony could also unlock multiplicity.

Ádám Bodor’s “The Sinistra Zone”

Reviewed by Emma Garman

"The Sinistra Zone" is neither an easy nor an enjoyable read. It is, however, an interesting one

July 2013

Milo De Angelis’s “Theme of Farewell and After-Poems”

Reviewed by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

In his latest work the poet sets a different task for himself; he writes as if to battle against the failure of words

June 2013

Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo’s “Where There’s Love, There’s Hate”

Reviewed by Emma Garman

This unsung jewel of a novella by the decorated couple Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo is a stylish, postmodern-inflected pastiche of an Agatha Christie mystery.

Georges Perec’s “La Boutique Obscure”

Reviewed by Stefanie Sobelle

For Perec even the task of recording a dream becomes a demanding literary and intellectual game.

May 2013

Oleg Pavlov’s “Captain of the Steppe”

Reviewed by Christopher Tauchen

Pavlov skillfully navigates the razor-thin gap between dark comedy and tragedy, making the novel more humane and serious than many satires.

March 2013

Amélie Nothomb’s “Life Form”

Reviewed by Emma Garman

For her nineteenth book, "Life Form," Nothomb has applied her preternaturally original mind to two favorite subjects—writing and “superhunger”

Yoko Ogawa’s “Revenge”

Reviewed by Mythili G. Rao

The experience of reading Revenge is like getting caught in a beautiful, lethal web.

February 2013

Antonio Tabucchi’s “The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico”

Reviewed by Elisa Wouk Almino

A comfort in death and loss pervades this collection of letters, ekphrastic prose, short stories, and historical fiction.

Mia Couto’s “The Blind Fisherman” and “The Tuner of Silences”

Reviewed by Anderson Tepper

Mozambican author Mia Couto has practically created a genre all his own.

January 2013

Eduardo Halfon’s “The Polish Boxer”

Reviewed by Anderson Tepper

"The Polish Boxer" is a book of small miracles

Alejandro Zambra’s “Ways of Going Home”

Reviewed by David Varno

These instances abound: life imitating art, while art reflects back images of life.

Homero Aridjis’s “A Time of Angels”

Reviewed by Andrew Seguin

Homero Aridjis’s angels have not fallen, but the world has.

Dany Laferrière’s “The World is Moving Around Me”

Reviewed by Anderson Tepper

This is Laferrière’s own take on the cataclysmic effects of the quake, both political and psychological.

December 2012

Andrey Platonov’s “Happy Moscow”

Reviewed by Christopher Tauchen

Love is grasped at but never secured. Each person is exhausted, weary, and alone.

Niq Mhlongo’s “Dog Eat Dog”

Reviewed by Anderson Tepper

Has South Africa found its modern voice of the people, its cutting-edge bard of the townships?

Juan Gelman’s “Dark Times Filled with Light”

Reviewed by Heather Cleary

History, for Gelman, is something both deeply personal and inherently communal, just as poetry can be both politically charged and aesthetically refined

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