Review

The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing – Nicholas Rombes

When we are increasingly concerned about documentary technologies’ capacity for truth, it makes sense that the stories we tell might be concerned with the horror of too much truth, or of truth stripped bare.

300,000,000 – Blake Butler

Embedded in his encounters with himself amid piles of corpses is an ambitious attempt to breach the sublime with the flood of language in this novel.

Half a Lifelong Romance – Eileen Chang

Tragedy is a condition, rather than the failure to act heroically.

The End of Days – Jenny Erpenbeck

Sentences repeat as situations repeat. The sense of relief at yet another opportunity to imagine the future of a life that was lost is cut by the knowledge that loss will win out in the end.

Shark – Will Self

Jaws without the shark.

Black Diamond – Zakes Mda

Unlike many Apartheid novels that stick to one location or group, Black Diamond depicts a South Africa where every group is present and no powerful white man is in sight.

Captives – Norman Manea

Captives speaks to Sebald’s call to stick within the register of memory, even if memory has been stripped of its supporting features.

Rewrite – Temenuga Trifonova

Trifonova forces the reader to reassess the opinions and institutions that validate the knowledge we have both of ourselves and of others.

Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories – MariNaomi

There is perhaps no more apt metaphor for the stories and vignettes in Dragon’s Breath than this: something that flares bright in your vision and lingers long after it’s extinguished.

Baboon – Naja Marie Aidt

Aidt perceives with great clarity the intricacies of relationships, not just romantic or sexual, though they are prominent, and she does it with an apparent cool distance.