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  • Book Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

    29th Nov 2020 by

    This book offers beautiful writing and delights with a very sharp approach to the question of identity, “cultural power”, cultural clashed between the West and the East in a context of the dominance of one powerful country such as the United States (US) prior and after the attacks on the World Trade Centre on 11… Read more

  • An Introduction to Anita Brookner’s Prose

    8th Nov 2020 by

    Let me introduce you to one of my favourite writers, Anita Brookner (1928 – 2016)  Anita Brookner was an English novelist and art historian, born into the Polish – Jewish family in North London. She was appointed as Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cambridge in 1967 and was the first woman… Read more

  • An Autumn Visit to West Highgate Cemetery in North London

    1st Nov 2020 by

     I hope you are all well and enjoy the autumn if you are based in the Northern hemisphere. A few weeks ago I went to visit West Highgate Cemetery in North London to roam the leafy, ancient avenues of this Victorian cemetery. The cemetery opened in 1839 and there are many well-preserved graves dated back… Read more

  • Book Review: The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić

    31st Oct 2020 by

    The Distance by a wonderful South African novelist, Ivan Vladislavic is a magnificent and stunning literary achievement. This is a remarkable, thoughtful read and a real feast for all the bibliophiles. This book is both, global and local; universal and South African – Praetorian; ordinary and surreal; alien and familiar. The ‘distance’ in the book is… Read more

  • Book Review: Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali

    16th Oct 2020 by

    ‘When we walked side by side, did I not feel his humanity most profoundly? Only now did I begin to understand why it was not always through words that people sought each other out and came to understand each other.’ I was profoundly moved by this gem of a book. In ‘Madonna in a Fur… Read more

  • 6 Compelling Books to Read during the Autumn

    16th Oct 2020 by

    A Start in Life by Anita Brookner (‪1928 – 2016‬) “Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature” is one of the boldest opening sentences I have ever read. The main protagonist, Ruth, turns to books for comfort while navigating through many ambiguities in her daily life such as taking… Read more

  • Book Review: Returning to Reims by Didier Eribon

    17th Aug 2020 by

    ‘Returning to Reims’ by Didier Eribon moved me profoundly. This book is about suffering, pain and shame related to one’s social background. Through showing his personal story of social exclusion, cutting ties with his working class origins, Eribon explores a number of important themes including the history of France over the last 100 years, how… Read more

  • Book Review: Distant View of A Minaret by Alifa Rifaat

    16th Aug 2020 by

    “Distant View of A Minaret” by Alifa Rifaat (1930 – 1996) is a collection of fifteen short stories depicting lives of women within a traditional Muslim society.Rifaat shows Muslim women who wish to adhere to strict religious teachings and they see men as the ones who do not follow their religious obligations towards women. She… Read more

  • Book Review: The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano

    6th Jul 2020 by

    “Many years later I tried to find that hotel I hadn’t recorded its name or address in the black notebook, the way we tend not to write down the most intimate details of our lives, for fear that, once fixed on paper, they’ll no longer be ours”. I read Patrick Modiano‘s books whenever I feel… Read more

  • Book Review: 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

    25th May 2020 by

    This a little uplifting book recommendation from my side for anyone in need of magical and cosy stories. “84 Charing Cross Road” by Helene Hanff provides one of these pleasant reading experiences. It is a true story written by real life events; this tale is both life-affirming and sad but still a real treat for… Read more

  • Book Review: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

    24th May 2020 by

    “(…) but that is the way of things, for when we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind”.  “(..) to love is to enter into the inevitability of one day being able to protect what is most valuable to you”. “We are all migrants through time”.   “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid… Read more

  • Book Review: French Lessons by Alice Kaplan

    10th Feb 2020 by

     “I have been willing to overlook in French culture what I would not accept in my own for the privilege of living in translation”. French Lessons by Alice Kaplan is an interesting book. The author elaborates on such themes as living life through an acquired language and its impact on one’s course of life; the… Read more

  • Book Review: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

    2nd Feb 2020 by

    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is one of my favourite books I have ever read. This book holds a special place in my heart as it depicts beautifully with all the necessary nuances the most important characteristics related to Russia and Eastern Europe during the course of the tragic 20th century. Having an… Read more

  • Book Review: Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano

    6th Dec 2019 by

    ‘Honeymoon’ by Patrick Modiano is an evocative, melancholic tale, and, at times, it resembles a frame from “film noir” of the 1950s. Modiano presents the lives of the protagonists from the point of an observer, never depicting the reality in a straightforward manner, but rather showing different angles, playing with the memory, the passage of… Read more

  • Book Review: Melmoth by Sarah Perry

    24th Nov 2019 by

    Melmoth by Sarah Perry is a tale of moral complexity related to the human condition. Perry’s book draws upon Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin written in 1820 which once was a well-read book with a greater significance. Perry retells the legend of Melmoth, the loneliest being in this world who wanders across the… Read more

  • Book Review: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

    24th Jul 2019 by

    “I would be reading at my desk, something she deemed part and parcel of my job, and considerate as she was, she kept me company but left me undisturbed. We were two solitudes benefiting from a grace that was continuously reinvigorated in each other’s presence, two solitudes who nourished each other.” “I identify with outsiders,… Read more

  • Book Review: Reunion by Fred Uhlman

    14th Jul 2019 by

    Reunion by Fred Uhlman is such a little book, and depending on the edition, over ninety pages long. It is a story about friendship between two young boys, Konrad and Hans, growing up in Germany of the 1930, where a political landscape was changing drastically. Hans was born into an assimilated Jewish family.

  • Book Review: No Place to Lay One’s Head by Françoise Frenkel

    30th Jun 2019 by

    “It is the duty of those who have survived to bear witness to ensure the dead are not forgotten, nor humble acts of self-sacrifice left unacknowledged.  (…) I dedicate this book to the MEN AND WOMEN OF GOODWILL who, generously, with unfailing courage, opposed the will to violence and resisted to the end.” Françoise Frenkel,… Read more

  • Book Review: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

    30th Jun 2019 by

    “The path of fiction could easily misled you into the cosmos of stories where everything was fluid, quixotic, and as open to surprises as a moonless night in the desert” Shafak, E., The Bastard of Istanbul, Penguin Random House UK, 2015, pp. 96 – 97

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