Wednesday, February 13, 2019

FRIDAY BLACK by Nana Kwame Adjei - Brenyah

Quercus Books


Friday Black tackles urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explores the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In the first, unforgettable story of this collection, The Finkelstein Five, Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unstinting reckoning of the brutal prejudice of the US justice system. In Zimmer Land we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And Friday Black and How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.
Fresh, exciting, vital and contemporary, Friday Black will appeal to people who love Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad, the TV show Black Mirror, the work of Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders, and anyone looking for stories that speak to the world we live in now.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

SHE WOULD BE KING by Wayétu Moore


Greywolf Press
Personal copy


Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.
Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

Thursday, January 31, 2019



Europa Editions
Personal Copy

Japanese Literature

Winner of the Kenzaburō Ōe Prize

Two immigrants, Salimah and Sayuri, navigate isolation, a new language, and devastating loss on their way to a lifelong friendship. Far from her native country of Nigeria and now living as a single mother of two, Salimah works the night shift at a supermarket in small-town Australia. She is shy and barely speaks English, but pushes herself to sign up for an ESL class offered at the local university.
At the group’s first meeting, Salimah meets Sayuri, who has come to Australia from Japan with her husband, a resident research associate at the local college. Sayuri has put her own education on hold to take care of her infant daughter and she is plagued by worries about financial instabilities and her general precariousness.
When Sayuri’s daughter dies in daycare and one of Salimah’s boys leaves to live with his father, the two women look to one another for comfort and sustenance, as they slowly master their new language.
Written with great warmth, Farewell, My Orange offers optimism in the face of adversity. In the stories of Salimah and Sayuri, readers will find a touching portrait of our need for others and the certainty of change.

My View
It took me one third of the novel to unravel the names and why they did not readily make sense when applied to the characters in the story. Once I understood where the story was heading it was smooth going.
However it affected the joy of reading this story, hence the three stars.
A hint, this novel deals with a story within a story.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

DAWN by Selahattin Demirtaş

Crown Publishing
Publishing Date April 23d,
SJP for Hogarth


Written from behind bars, the unforgettable collection from one of Turkey’s leading politicians and most powerful storytellers.
In this essential collection, Selahattin Demirtaş’s arresting stories capture the voices of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. A cleaning lady is caught up in a violent demonstration on her way to work. A five-year-old girl attempts to escape war-torn Syria with her mother by boat. A suicide bombing shatters a neighborhood in Aleppo. And in the powerful story, 'Seher', a young factory worker is robbed of her dreams in an unimaginable act of violence. 
Written with Demirtas’s signature wit, warmth, and humor, and alive with the rhythms of everyday speech, DAWN paints a remarkable portrait of life behind the headlines in Turkey and the Middle East – in all its hardship and adversity, freedom and hope.

My thoughts

Coming soon

Friday, January 18, 2019


Manzoor Ahtesham, The Tale of the Missing Man, trans. Jason Grunebaum & Ulrike Stark (Northwestern University Press)
Yvan Alagbé, Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York Review Comics)
Gabriela Alemán, Poso Wells, trans. Dick Cluster (City Lights Books) 
Ahmet Altan, Like a Sword Wound, trans. Brendan Freely & Yelda Türedi (Europa Editions)
Maxim Amelin, The Joyous Science: Selected Poems of Maxim Amelin, trans. Derek Mong & Anne O. Fisher (White Pine Press)
Nathacha Appanah, Waiting for Tomorrow, trans. Geoffrey Strachan (Graywolf Press)
Pénélope Bagieu, Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, trans. Montana Kane (Ebury Press)
Giorgio Bassani, The Novel of Ferrara, trans. Jamie McKendrick (W. W. Norton)
Maïssa Bey, Do You Hear in the Mountains . . . and Other Stories, trans. Erin Lamm (University of Virginia Press)
Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Empty Set, trans. Christina MacSweeney (Coffee House Press)
Therese Bohman, Eventide, trans. Marlaine Delargy (Other Press)
Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde, What We Owe, trans. Elizabeth Jane Clark Wessel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Tanella Boni, The Future Has an Appointment with the Dawn, trans. Todd Fredson (University of Nebraska Press)
Beatriz Bracher, I Didn’t Talk, trans. Adam Morris (New Directions)
Dror Burstein, Muck, trans. Gabriel Levin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Arnaldo Calveyra, Letters So That Happiness, trans. Elizabeth Zuba (Ugly Duckling Press)
José Manuel Cardona, Birnam Wood / El Bosque de Birnam: A Poetic Anthology, trans. Hélène Cardona (Salmon Poetry)
Paolo Cognetti, The Eight Mountains, trans. Simon Carnell & Erica Segre (Atria)
Mia Couto, Woman of the Ashes, trans. David Brookshaw (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Christelle Dabos, A Winter’s Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet, trans. Hildegarde Serle (Europa Editions)
Jabbour Douaihy, Printed in Beirut, trans. Paula Haydar (Interlink)
Gaël Faye, Small Country, trans. Sarah Ardizzone (Hogarth)
Rodrigo Fresán, The Bottom of the Sky, trans. Will Vanderhyden (Open Letter)
Julián Fuks, Resistance, trans. Daniel Hahn (Charco Press)
Inga Gaile, 30 Questions People Don’t Ask: Selected Poems, trans. Ieva Lešinska (Pleiades Press)
Alisa Ganieva, Bride and Groom, trans. Carol Apollonio (Deep Vellum)
Margarita García Robayo, Fish Soup, trans. Charlotte Coombe (Charco Press)
Stella Gitano, Withered Flowers: Short Stories, trans. Anthony Calderbank (Rafiki)
Hubert Haddad, Desirable Body, trans. Alyson Waters (Yale University Press)
Nora Ikstena, Soviet Milk, trans. Margita Gailitis (Peirene Press)
Jin Eun-young, We, Day by Day, trans. Daniel Parker & YoungShil Ji (White Pine Press)
Uwe Johnson, Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl, trans. Damion Searls (NYRB)
Najla Jraissaty Khoury, ed., Pearls on a Branch: Tales from the Arab World Told by Women, trans. Inea Bushnaq (Archipelago Books)
Mieko Kawakami, Ms Ice Sandwich, trans. Louise Heal Kawai (Pushkin Press)
Esther Kinsky, River, trans. Iain Galbraith (Transit Books)
Ibrahim al-Koni, The Fetishists, trans. William M. Hutchins (University of Texas Press)
Roque Larraquy, Comemadre, trans. Heather Cleary (Coffee House Press)
Cixin Liu, Ball Lightning, trans. Joel Martinsen (Tor Books)
Luljeta Lleshanaku, Negative Space, trans. Ani Gjika (New Directions)
Shahriar Mandanipour, Moon Brow, trans. Sara Khalili (Restless Books)
Brice Matthieussent, Revenge of the Translator, trans. Emma Ramadan (Deep Vellum) 
Dunya Mikhail, The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq, trans. Max Weiss & Dunya Mikhail (New Directions)
Yukiko Motoya, The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories, trans. Asa Yoneda (Soft Skull Press)
Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore, trans. Phillip Gabriel & Ted Goossen (Knopf)
Perumal Murugan, One Part Woman, trans. Aniruddhan Vasudevan (Black Cat) 
Trifonia Melibea Obono, La Bastarda, trans. Lawrence Schimel (Feminist Press) 
Ondjaki, Transparent City, trans. Stephen Henighan (Biblioasis)
Masatsugu Ono, Lion Cross Point, trans. Angus Turvill (Two Lines Press)
Anna Maria Ortese, Neapolitan Chronicles, trans. Ann Goldstein & Jenny McPhee (New Vessel Press)
Gunnhild Øyehaug, Wait, Blink: A Perfect Picture of Inner Life, trans. Kari Dickson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Abdulla Pashew, Dictionary of Midnight, trans. Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse (Phoneme Media) 
Hagar Peeters, Malva, trans. Vivien Glass (DoppelHouse Press) 
Sergio Pitol, Mephisto’s Waltz, trans. George Henson (Deep Vellum) 
Alejandra Pizarnik, The Galloping Hour: French Poems, trans. Patricio Ferrari & Forrest Gander (New Directions) 
Agneta Pleijel, Sister and Brother: A Family Story, trans. Harald Hille (Gallaudet University Press)
The Popol Vuh, trans. Michael Bazzett (Milkweed Editions)
Edy Poppy, Anatomy. Monotony., trans. May-Brit Akerholt (Dalkey Archive)
Nayrouz Qarmout, The Sea Cloak and Other Stories, trans. Perween Richards (Comma Press) 
Roberto Ransom, Missing Persons, Animals, and Artists, trans. Daniel Shapiro (Swan Isle Press)
Shahad Al Rawi, The Baghdad Clock, trans. Luke Leafgren (Oneworld)
Yasmina Reza, Babylon, trans. Linda Asher (Seven Stories)
Jérôme Ruillier, The Strange, trans. Hegle Dacher (Drawn & Quarterly)
Ahmed Saadawi, Frankenstein in Baghdad, trans. Jonathan Wright (Penguin Books)
Evelyn Schlag, All Under One Roof, trans. Karen Leeder (Carcanet)
Ófeigur Sigurðsson, Öræfi: The Wasteland, trans. Lytton Smith (Deep Vellum)
Ersi Sotiropoulos, What’s Left of the Night, trans. Karen Emmerich (New Vessel Press)
Ulf Stark, My Little Small, ill. Linda Bondestam; trans. Annie Prime (Enchanted Lion)
Ellisiv Stifoss-Hanssen, Let Me Sleep until This Is Just a Dream, trans. May-Brit Akerholt (Dalkey Archive Press)
Su Wei, The Invisible Valley, trans. Austin Woerner (Small Beer Press)
Yoko Tawada, The Emissary, trans. Margaret Mitsutani (New Directions)
Olga Tokarczuk, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Text Publishing)
Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, Stormwarning, trans. K. B. Thors (Phoneme Media)
Dubravka Ugrešić, Fox, trans. Ellen Elias-Bursać & David Williams (Open Letter) 
Eugene Vodolazkin, The Aviator, trans. Lisa Hayden (Oneworld)
Mikhail Zoshchenko, Sentimental Tales, trans. Boris Dralyuk (Columbia University Press)