The Governesses is easily one of the stand-out books of 2018 for me. I love everything about it – from the playful and mannered prose to the cinematic and stylized storytelling. The fenced in house and garden remind me of an elaborate glass terrarium like you might find in a Victorian parlor… a whimsical, shrunken down version of the Temperate House in Kew Gardens. And … Continue reading The Governesses by Anne Serre (translated by Mark Hutchinson)
Title: Children of God Author: Lars Petter Sveen Translator: Guy Puzey Publisher: Graywolf Press (Minneapolis, 2018) ISBN: 978 1 55597 820 4 Three soldiers sent by King Herod to massacre innocent babies experience a moment of doubt, only to have their resolve strengthened (and hearts hardened) by the words of a sinister old man. An urchin boy styling himself King David sacrifices everything to keep … Continue reading Reimagining the New Testament
Title: The Emissary Author: Yoko Tawada Translator: Margaret Mitsutani Publisher: New Directions Books, New York (2018) ISBN: 978 0 8112 2762 9 In Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary the future is, somewhat predictably, bleak. Japanese children are frail and infirm creatures, cared for by grandparents and great-grandparents who remain strong and vigorous well past the hundred-year mark. The two main characters, Yoshiro and his great-grandson Mumei, live … Continue reading In Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary the future is, predictably, bleak.
Title: The Embalmer Author: Anne-Renée Caillé Translator: Rhonda Mullins Publisher: Coach House Books, Toronto (2018) ISBN: 978 1 55243 780 We’re all going to die. And while nobody wants to dwell on the state of their own mortality, we’re perfectly happy consuming stories, both on screen and page, involving the deaths of strangers. Especially if a crime is involved. (We do love our crime. I’ve … Continue reading The Embalmer by Anne-Renée Caillé, tr. Rhonda Mullins
I know some bloggers/critics don’t want to waste their time reviewing books they don’t like when there are so many good books to talk about. Which makes perfect sense. But for me — and if you follow Reader@Large you already know this — I enjoy talking about books that aren’t exactly masterpieces. I think it comes out of my art school background. When visiting museums … Continue reading In the Distance With You by Carla Guelfenbein, tr. John Cullen