Rating 5 stars
My friend Dipika has a story in this anthology, which gathers together poems and stories of maps and mapping from UK writers of global majority communities.
These are tales of place, covering diaspora, exile, identity, childhood and family. The writers are all based in the UK and are from a wide range of communities. After finishing The Good Immigrant, I wanted to sink my teeth into more writing from communities that are underrepresented in the literary world, and this offering from Arachne Press gave me the opportunity to do just that. Continue reading
Rating 4 stars
Read for Women in Translation Month
Umami is Laia Jufresa’s debut novel, translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes. Set in Mexico City in the first few years of the 21st century, it moves back and forth in time to tell the story of the residents of Belldrop Mews. It’s a tale of love and loss, of chances not taken, and of secrets that refuse to remain secret. Continue reading
I enjoy reading the responses to Kate’s Six Degrees of Separation challenge over on Books are my Favourite and Best, but I’ve never done one myself. That is, until now. Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
Read for The Reader’s Room Winter Challenge
I did some reading up on The Savage Detectives. It’s partly a fictionalised account of Roberto Bolaño’s return to Mexico in 1974 and his attempt to set up, with a friend and fellow poet Mario Santiago, a group of renegade poets-cum-practical jokers whose purpose in life is to disrupt the cultural status quo through heckling at poetry readings and to bring about political revolution with poetry as the great liberator.
It’s also partly a quest, a road trip in search of a mysterious disappeared poet. Throughout the book, the savage detectives of the title are neither fully present nor fully absent. They are present in conversations, and present in people hoping for their return, and are absent even when they make a physical appearance. We never hear directly from them. We only hear other people’s impressions of them. Continue reading
Rating: 3 stars
Read for The Reader’s Room Olympic Challenge
A woman trapped in a house in Mexico City is obsessed with Gilberto Owen in an apartment in Harlem with a dead orange tree. Gilberto Owen in an apartment in Harlem with a dead orange tree is obsessed with Emily Dickinson who is a woman trapped in a house. Both the woman and Gilberto see ghosts. Both Gilberto and the woman are ghosts. Both have died many times and go on dying and seeing each other across time. Continue reading