Brotherhood by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr | Book Review

A few thoughts about about one of my favourite books I have read recently, Brotherhood (Terre Ceinte) by the Senegalese writer, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, a winner of the French prestigious 2021 Prix Goncourt for La plus secrete memoire des hommes  (Men’s Most Secret Memories). Written with maturity and unmatched sensitivity and empathy, Brotherhood explores many […]

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Martita, I Remember You by Sandra Cisneros | Book Review

“People look at me and they just see a woman who works in an office. It’s as if your body isn’t an anchor or an iron bell anymore. That’s all. Just someone who answers the phone. Nobody asks me, what’s that you’re reading? Eduardo Galeano’s The Book Of Embraces? Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha? Elena Poniatowska’s […]

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The Sundays of Jean Dezert by Jean de La Ville de Mirmont | Book Review

Jean de La Ville de Mirmont (1886 – 1914)  was killed at the age of 27 during the World War I. He was an author of a collection of poetry, short stories and a 1914 self-published novella, The Sundays of Jean Dezert. Mirmont was a close friend of another French writer and the 1952 Nobel […]

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Blue Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu | Book Review

Blue Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu is a compelling, thoughtful coming of age story exploring identity, belief systems, perception of the Other, sexuality, family relationships spanning across two continents, different cultures and traditions. Storytelling is beautiful, extremely moving and emphatic. The protagonist of the book is a boy with blue skin called Kalki who is […]

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Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym | Book Review

Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym published in 1977 (and nominated for the Booker Prize) is a poignant exploration of loneliness. This is a story of four single people in their 60s: Marcia, Letty, Edwin and Norman who have worked together for several years in an office in Central London doing unspecified clerical work. They […]

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The Wheel by Jennifer Lane | Book Review

“In the world we live in, we have been taught from a young age that traditionally masculine traits are what will make us succeed; intelligence is measured logically through tick-box tests, the loudest voice in the room tends to win the debate and we are told to be cruel to fight our way to the […]

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No Touching by Ketty Rouf | Book Review

“Today , I don’t exist. Tomorrow, I probably won’t, either. (…)Today is the first day of school.” “Exhausted. (…) Do your job. Hang on. (…) It is a truly wretched existence, one that drove me to seek stimulation by reading the great philosophers. Where the hell did I get the ludicrous idea of finding happiness […]

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Invisible Ink by Patrick Modiano | Book Review

“It comforted me to think that even if you sometimes have memory gaps, all the details of your life are written somewhere in invisible ink.” “I did not want to quantify my life. I let it flow by, like mad money that slips through your fingers. I wasn’t careful. When I thought about the future, […]

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The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak | Book Review

‘Where do you start someone’s story when every life has more than one thread and what we call birth is not the only beginning, nor is death exactly an end?’ ‘People on both sides of the island [Cyprus] suffered – and people on both sides would hate it if you said that aloud. Why? Because […]

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The Memory Monster by Yishai Sarid | Book Review

The Memory Monster by an Israeli writer Yishai Sarid is an excellent novel, one of the best books I have read on the banality of evil, memory, how we process the past, how we relate to the darkest chapters of the human history, how we understand human brtutality. Do we learn from the history, especially […]

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The German Room by Carla Maliandi | Book Review

“No matter where I go, I’m still broken. And now I’m thousands of miles from home, in a place where I barely speak the language and I have no idea what to do.”  “Even if I crossed the whole world looking for a place to feel at home, I wouldn’t belong anywhere.”  The German Room […]

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The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun | Book Review

“Not all disasters catch your eye. The ones that become real issues are distinct. (…) The disaster has to be on a certain scale for busy people to take the time to sympathise or pay attention. (…) The empathy can fade too. (…) If you compared several disasters that had occurred at similar times and […]

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Fresh Water For Flowers by Valerie Perrin | Book Review

Fresh Water for Flowers is the most extraordinary, moving tribute to the resilience of human spirit. I must admit that I don’t remember when last time I was so deeply touched by a story. This book hugs YOU, offers comfort and numerous moments of tenderness, as well as it evokes the spirit of profound emotions […]

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The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout | Book Review

“Books — the closeness of them, their contact, their smell, and their contents — constitute the safest refuge against this world of horror. They are the most pleasant and the most subtle means of traveling to a more compassionate planet.” Tahar Djaout (1954 – 1993) was one of the most talented Algerian writers of the […]

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