Category: Literature

Iza's Ballad by Magda Szabo 0

Iza’s Ballad by Magda Szabo

★★★★☆ Although not the shimmering, layered masterpiece that is Magda Szabo’s 1987 novel The Door (translated last year to critical acclaim), Iza’s Ballad is an accomplished work of similar emotional weight. Before The Door’s...

Ema, the Captive by Cesar Aira 0

Ema, The Captive by César Aira

★★☆☆☆ The prolific César Aira is a writer of momentum and continuum. He often discusses his work ethic in essays and interviews, explaining how he’s a daily writer and resists editing yesterday’s material. He...

The Invisibility Cloak by Ge Fei 0

The Invisibility Cloak by Ge Fei

★★★☆☆ This short novella about music, family, and business in contemporary China is an alluring introduction to Ge Fei, a novelist of subtle peculiarity and intrigue. The narrator of The Invisibilty Cloak is an...

Picador, 2016 0

Submission by Michel Houellebecq

★★★★☆ When politicians invoke the “threat of radical Islam,” this typically features imagery of automatic weapons, plane crashes, and IEDs. Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission suggests an alternate, perhaps more powerful arsenal: textbooks and bank...

The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin 0

The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin

★★☆☆☆ Ha Jin’s The Boat Rocker is a scathing satire about Chinese-American patriotism and intellectual integrity. When young Chinese immigrant Yan Haili’s 9/11-exploiting novel Love and Death in September gets a publicity bump from...

A Gambler's Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem 0

A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem

★☆☆☆☆ A story about an international high-stakes backgammon hustler should at least be exciting. Instead, Jonathan Lethem’s A Gambler’s Anatomy is a dud. Its hero, Alexander Bruno, is an indiscernible husk of machismo adrift...

David-Szalay-All-That-Man-Is 0

All That Man Is by David Szalay

★★★★☆ Composed of nine discrete sections, each running around forty pages in length, David Szalay’s All That Man Is (shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize) is a series of character snapshots about aging...