Barba’s undeniable skill lies in crafting convincing characters that feel like friends, or like enemies, or like people you hope never to meet, whose downfalls feel dangerously possible.
The question of how we create meaning or value — which, Consiglio reminds us, are far from the same thing — when moving through a place serves as a structural principle in this collection where each story stretches out like a corridor with different rooms attached.
If increasingly Islamophobic western cultures can be collectively taken as Troy, THE INFLUENCE PEDDLERS at its best is a Trojan Horse in which not all the soldiers fit — or at least fit comfortably.
NDiaye, who is half French and half Senegalese, drains the narrative of the usual markers of identity, leaving behind elemental psychological processes and beguiling allusions.
Performative writing promises no buttoned-up endings, no achievement of perfection. It refutes the notion of a progression, of a moving forward, the reaching of a completed end-point.