Author: Jeff Alford

Tomb Song by Julián Herbert 0

Tomb Song by Julián Herbert

★★☆☆☆ Julián Herbert’s kaleidoscopic, autobiographical novel Tomb Song is a paean to his dying mother, written in what feels like a real-time bedside scrawl. “I’ve endeavored to draw a freehand portrait of my mother,”...

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst 0

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

★★★★☆ Spanning fifty years and three generations, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair tracks a network of artistic acquaintances through high-society London. Opening in Oxford during World War II, the novel loosely revolves around David Sparsholt, an...

Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto 0

Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto

★★★☆☆ Chronicling the 1895 fall of the Gaza Empire in Mozambique, Mia Couto’s Woman of the Ashes is a finely-researched work of epic potential. The first of a trilogy, this novel follows the lives...

Madness Is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman 0

Madness Is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman

★★★☆☆ Channeling Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace, Ned Beauman’s novels are sprawling and hilarious works that tumble into realms of inspired, lost-in-time exotica. 2012’s The Teleportation Accident (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize)...

Ice by Anna Kavan 0

Ice by Anna Kavan

★★★☆☆ Originally published fifty years ago and recently reissued in an anniversary edition with supplemental texts by Jonathan Lethem and Kate Zambreno, Anna Kavan’s Ice is a story of a man obsessed. A nameless...

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi 0

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

★★★☆☆ Translated from the Arabic, Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad updates a classic from the literary canon into a devastating, modern-day political allegory. In an attempt to give a rightful burial to the countless...