These are some of my favourite books under 200 pages including Patrick Modiano, Zofia Nalkowska, Adrienne Yabouza, Mohsin Hamid, Tahar Djaout, Yevgenia Belorusets, Octavio Paz, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alifa Rifat. I hope you will find these recommendations of interest.
In Light of India by the Mexican poet and the 1990 Nobel Prize laureate, Octavio Paz is a rich collection of essays on India, packed with ideas, informative, well- researched and lived-through insights, deep ruminations on culture, history, religion, philosophy, society, architecture, languages, Sanskrit poetry and the notion of nationhood and statehood shown through the […]
“But life went on anyway. It didn’t finish. Life never finishes, even if someone leaves it.” Life Went On Anyway by a Ukrainian dissident artist, writer, filmmaker, Oleg Sentsov is a collection of autobiographical stories which portray Sentsov’s childhood and growing up in the Crimea during the last years of Soviet Union and in a […]
The Weight of Loss is a beautifully crafted debut novel by an extremely gifted writer, Sally Oliver. The novel offers a profound exploration of a young life shaped by grief, loss, trauma and troubled relationships. It is also a story of how the ordinariness of the reality we inhabit has an impact on our inner […]
“The greatest mystery of my life: living in the aftermath.” The Teacher by the Israeli writer, Michal Ben Naftali is an exceptional and profoundly moving novel. I cried towards the end of the book and after I closed the last page of this book. The Teacher tells a story of a woman, Elsa Weiss, born […]
Adrienne Yabouza is a writer from the Central African Republic (CAR). She worked as a hairdresser for many years in the capital of CAR, Bangui. Currently Adrienne dedicates her time to writing books for children and adults in French, Sango, Yakoma, and Lingala. As a young woman she fled the civil war in CAR with […]
Sunken City by the Italian writer, Marta Barone is a spellbinding noir-memoir exploring the meaning of personal memory versus historical records, family relationships especially those between fathers and daughters, the quest for one’s roots, nostalgia for missed opportunities and relationships with the backdrop of contemporary and especially the 1970s Italy. It is also a portrayal […]
I remember reading Stoner by John Williams a decade ago or so when it was republished here in UK almost 40 years after it was first published in USA. It had a huge impact on me. When Stoner was published first time in 1965, it only sold 2000 copies and it did not achieve a […]
Lucky Breaks by Ukrainian writer and photojournalist, Yevgenia Belorusets in translation of Eugene Ostashevsky is a collection of vignettes accompanied by a series of black and white photos taken by the author herself and placed carefully within the text. Even though these photographs do not illustrate any of the events described in the book, they […]
Lean on Me by the French novelist, Serge Joncour explores human connections, emotional struggles, and intimacy between two mature, seemingly different people, Ludovic and Aurore, who find unlikely love amid the urban landscape of the Parisian metropolis. This is a tale of uneasy relationship between two souls entering each other’s lives carrying the weight of their previous as well as current life experiences and obligations.
Grey Bees by the great Ukrainian writer, Andrey Kurkov has become one of my all-time favourite books and its protagonist, one of the most beautiful solitary characters I have encountered in literature, Sergey Sergeyich is someone I would love to set off on a journey with across free, independent Ukraine one day. I cannot express […]
Reputation is a compelling crime novel providing a nuanced social and cultural commentary on a modern society. This book explores many social issues prevalent in the British society including an often toxic relationship between politicians and press, the role of social media in our daily life and the extent to which our mental as well as physical well – being can be affected by online threats, bullying, and abuse; the position of women in a modern society, especially when they step out of so-called social and cultural expectations asserting their freedom of choice; the objectification of women in many spheres of public life including politics; the impact of how we look on the perception others have of us leading to deeper questions on social values and norms; the relation between the roles we take on in our lives and its impact on the lives of our loved ones, especially those dependent on us, in particular our children.
I have read a few books by the great Ukrainian writer, Andrey Kurkov in the past. Each of them deserves a wider audience especially these days. His books are an emphatic reflection of the Ukrainian soul. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov is an original book which is worth reading to get a glimpse […]
For those who can read these days and want to escape into a world of written words for a few moments, I would like to recommend you Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan set in Venice of the nostalgic 1960s, before and after the 1966 Venice flood. It is an atmospheric, gothic, slow-paced, character […]
“I feel as if I am looking at the world through a keyhole and what I see scares me.” Many people in Eastern Europe go currently through grief, an extreme level of anxiety, shock, pain, a feeling of loss. For many Eastern Europeans, generational traumas have resurfaced. For those who are able to read, maybe […]