fri 03/04/2020

fiction

Nathalie Léger: The White Dress review – masterfully introverted

Nathalie Léger’s The White Dress brings personal and public tragedy together in a narrative as absorbingly melancholic as its subject is shocking. The story described by Léger’s narrator – a scarcely fictional version of herself – is of the...

Read more...

Hilary Fannin: The Weight of Love review – unravelling knotty lives

The relationship between Joe, Robin and Ruth is far from your average love triangle. On the face of it, Robin loves Ruth, but after introducing her to his charismatic friend Joe – an artist and renegade – their affair reroutes all of their lives...

Read more...

Michael Nath: The Treatment review - 'deeds, and language, such as men do use'

Great writing about – or set in – London has one thing in common: voice. It’s tuned into the city’s multiple frequencies, its sometimes marvellous, sometimes maddening mix of different registers and rhythms. It adopts and adapts the capital’s...

Read more...

Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - raising women's voices

Recent politics surround the EU and nationhood, fantasies of Irish Sea bridges and trading borders more porous than limestone have revived the granular rub between Eire and Britain, and the Celtic Tiger cool of the Nineties is a history module these...

Read more...

Patricia Grace: Potiki review – a searching examination of human nature

With the publication of her first work, Waiariki (1975), Patricia Grace became the author of the first ever collection of short stories by a Māori woman. In the four-and-a-half decades since, she has established herself as a canonical figure in...

Read more...

Clemens Meyer: Dark Satellites review - eccentric orbits

In Clemens Meyer’s new collection of short stories Dark Satellites (translated from German by Kate Derbyshire), the lonely frequently enter into each other’s orbit. Their loneliness is intensified by every rotation they make of one another. These...

Read more...

Jeet Thayil: Low – grief’s seedy distractions

Like many writers, Jeet Thayil is a bit of an outsider. And, if his track record is anything to go by, he has been happy to keep it that way. The poet, novelist, editor, performer and former addict spent a couple of decades rubbing shoulders with...

Read more...

Sema Kaygusuz: Every Fire You Tend review – an education in grief

In March 1937, the government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk instigated what it called a “disciplinary campaign” against the Zaza-speaking Alevi Kurds in the Dersim region of eastern Turkey. What followed was a bloody, coordinated assault that resulted in...

Read more...

Elizabeth Strout: Olive, Again review - compassion, honesty and community

Elizabeth Strout is fond of plain titles. Much as her stories are interested in subtlety – the quiet complications and contradictions of ordinary life – her books advertise themselves by means of telling understatements. Olive, Again ...

Read more...

Ho Sok Fong: Lake Like A Mirror review - an intoxicating collection

“Truth was further from safety than two islands at opposite ends of the earth,” proclaims the narrator of ‘Lake Like A Mirror’, the titular short story in Ho Sok Fong’s intoxicating new collection. When a young Chinese Malaysian literature tutor...

Read more...

Book extract: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

She had clutched the envelope given by the shy messenger, but she had never opened it. The Intended.True. The message from the director was for her.A joke between them—a bond.Though in her view he was no Kurtz: all he wanted was to finish his film....

Read more...

The Collection: Nina Leger trans. Laura Francis – daring, direct and richly imagined

Jeanne – employment, age and appearance unknown, motives unknowable – is building a collection of penises. In street after street, she feigns dizziness; on the inevitable approach of a man eager to lend his help, she leads him to a hotel room. After...

Read more...
Subscribe to fiction