The Photographer at Sixteen by George Szirtes | Book Review

“Displacement hits you later than you expect, just when you think you have settled down and become part of the world all over again. That is when it begins to ache, when a certain inarticulable desolation creeps in. Your body is not where your body ought to be (…). It is as if you had […]

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El Excluido [‘The Excluded’] by David San Jose Martinez | Book Review

El Excluido’ [‘The Excluded’] by the great Spanish writer, David San Jose Martinez. This book is a wonderful literary achievement, beautifully written with a very rich language, a veil of nostalgia and profound emotional sensitivity. It is a novel but its form – the collection of vignettes, somewhat separated, somewhat connected, is very innovative. El […]

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In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri | Book Review

“Why do I write? To investigate the mystery of existence. (…) To get closer to everything that is outside of me. (…)Writing is my only way of absorbing (…) life.”  In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri   constitutes an astonishingly beautiful discourse exploring the subjects of identity, the meaning of exile, belonging, cultural displacement, alienation, […]

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Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga | Book Review

“Nothing in Rwanda was left in me but a wound that could never be healed.”  “Humiliated, afraid, waiting day after day for what was to come, what we didn’t have a word for: genocide. And I alone preserve the memory of it. And that’s why I am writing this.”   “Where are they? Somewhere deep in […]

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The Melancholic Soul of Fernando Pessoa | Reflections

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” A few thoughts from “The Book of Disquiet” by Fernando Pessoa (1888 – 1935), a Portuguese writer who is the dearest to my heart. Fernando was a Portuguese poet, considered one of the most significant literary figures of the early 20th century, and one of the […]

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Medallions by Zofia Nalkowska | Book Review

Medallions by a Polish novelist and essayist, Zofia Nalkowska (1884 – 1954)  Medallions is considered the masterpiece in the world Holocaust literature, deeply influences by Nalkowska’s experience as a member of the Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes which was established in 1945. During that time, she visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek, Treblinka and many […]

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman | Book Review

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.” “Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn’t erase it.” “I […]

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The Readers’ Room by Antoine Laurain | Book Review

“Marcel Proust, Iike all writers of genius, had succeeded – and he more than any other – in this transmutation which is the very essence of literature: a spirit and soul embodied in a rectangle of bound paper, living on after them.” “The Readers’ Room” by Antoine Laurain This little mystery book serves as a […]

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri | Book Review

“𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒑𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔, 𝒔𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔.” The Beekeeper of Aleppo is beautifully written, but it should be mainly read for its subject matter. Christy Lefteri portrays the journey of Syrian refugees in a realistic, emphatic, and respectful manner. The Beekeeper of Aleppo tells a story […]

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Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland | Book Review

My stress levels have been skyrocketing over the last weeks and months due to the current situation related to pandemic. For that reason I have been in need of reading something heartwarming, soul-healing, soul-soothing and gentle. And, this little gem of a book, Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland brought me solace, so needed moments […]

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The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel | Book Review

“At night, here in the library, the ghosts have voices. (…) But at night, when the library lamps are lit, the outside world disappears and nothing but the space of books remains in existence. ” – The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel is one of the greatest […]

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid | Book Review

This book offers beautiful writing and delights with a very sharp approach to the question of identity, “cultural power”, cultural clash 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 […]

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Anita Brookner | Introduction

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 […]

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London | An Autumn Visit to West Highgate Cemetery

 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 […]

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The Distance by Ivan Vladislavić | Book Review

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 […]

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