Carmen Boullosa: El Velázquez de París [The Velazquez of Paris]

The latest addition to my website is Carmen Boullosa‘s El Velázquez de París [The Velazquez of Paris], another wonderful post-modernist, feminist romp through history. This one tell the story of Velázquez‘s painting The Expulsion of the Moriscos (the Moriscos were the descendants of the Moors who occupied Spain and who had converted to Christianity but … Read more

Oum Suphany : ក្រោមតំណក់ទឹកភ្លៀង (Under the Drops of Falling Rain)

The latest addition to my website is Oum Suphany‘s រោមតំណក់ទឹកភ្លៀង (Under the Drops of Falling Rain). This is a semi-autobiographical novel about a woman who lives through the Pol Pot regime and all the suffering that resulted. She is separated from her family when the Khmer Rouge suddenly start driving people out of Phnom Penh … Read more

20 best British and Irish novels of all time

The Daily Telegraph has published what it laughingly calls the 20 best British and Irish novels of all time. Three are ludicrous choices – Jilly Cooper, The Sea, The Sea and The Sea. One is a US writer. Henry James took British citizenship just a few months before he died, well after he had written … Read more

Lawrence Durrell: Constance or Solitary Practices

The latest addition to my website is Lawrence Durrell‘s Constance or Solitary Practices, the third book in Durrell’s Quincunx series. This one is set during World War II, with the various characters we have met in Avignon, scattering before the advancing Germans. Aubrey Blanford, the writer, goes off to Egypt as secretary to Prince Hassan, … Read more

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki: 卍 (Quicksand)

The latest addition to my website is Jun’ichiro Tanizaki‘s 卍 (Quicksand). This a very erotic novel, even by Tanizaki’s standard. Sonoko Kakiuchi is a widow, telling her story to the author. She had been married to a lawyer and had accompanied him into town to go to art school. There she had met Mitsuko, a … Read more

Icelandic literature Part 2

I have now read twenty Icelandic novels in a row, which may seem and, indeed, probably is mildly obsessive. However, I shall now be calling a break and returning to to other nationalities. I still have quite a few unread Icelandic novels in my collection so if ever I feel the urge to read another … Read more

Ólafur Jóhann Sigurðsson: Bréf séra Böðvars (Pastor Bodvar’s Letter)

The latest addition to my website is Ólafur Jóhann Sigurðsson‘s Bréf séra Böðvars (Pastor Bodvar’s Letter). This is a short tale about a retired pastor, Bodvar V Gunnlaugsson, living with his wife, Gudrid, in Reykjavik. It recounts the fairly mundane events of one day. The book starts and ends with his trying to write a … Read more