Posts tagged book review

Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen

This review of Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen is my second post for Indigenous Literature Week. The first was a review of The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke by Tina Makereti. Five chapters. Five narrators. Five different experiences of being young Greenlanders trying to navigate the complex territory of gender and sexual identity. That’s the basic setup of Crimson by Niviaq… Read More

Nightshade by Annalena McAfee

If you need your fictional characters to be likeable, to be the sort of people that you can “root for”, then absolutely do NOT read Nightshade by Annalena McAfee. If, on the other hand, you want characters to be interesting, complex, and perhaps even illustrative of deeper themes to do with the tension between art and life, then read on…. Read More

Borges Marathon, Part 3: The Widow Ching—Pirate

Before I read Borges, I used to think there was a sharp dividing line between fiction and nonfiction. In my own writing, there’s a huge gap between the serious, diligently factual articles I write for The Wall Street Journal and the entirely invented worlds of my novels and short stories. But Jorge Luis Borges is constantly blurring the lines and… Read More

The Ants Will Come and Tell Me

As the Empire was falling apart, Britain had a problem: how to keep control of all its former colonies and their resources as they became independent. Acting in good faith was, of course, out of the question. Many of the leaders pushing for independence were talking of using their resources for the benefit of their own people, which went against… Read More

The Reality of Anti-Fascism

Reading The US Antifascism Reader lately gave some useful context on this much-maligned but essential movement. It’s a collection of essays and speeches by historical figures from W.E.B. Du Bois to Franklin Roosevelt, Aimé Césaire to Barbara Ehrenreich, in which we see different approaches to combating the dangers of fascism.

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Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse: German Literature Month 2020

November has been a busy month for me, but I am determined to slip in a quick review for German Literature Month, hosted once again by book bloggers Caroline and Lizzy. I read Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, an intriguing 1927 novel about a man, Harry Haller, who feels so much like an outsider that he identifies himself as a “wolf… Read More

The History of Serbia by Cedomir Antic: Review

This is a useful overview of the history of Serbia, starting in neolithic times and going right through to the present (it was published in 2018). The book starts by describing the early inhabitants of the territory now known as Serbia, including the surprising fact that it produced 15 Roman emperors, more than the city of Rome itself. Then we… Read More