Jim Crace: The Pesthouse

The latest addition to my website is Jim Crace‘s The Pesthouse. I have long held the view that the United States, a country which has passed from barbarism to decadence without passing through the intervening stage of civilisation (the original quote is attributed to numerous people), will, eventually, when resources run out, collapse into a … Read more

Indriði G. Þorsteinsson: Norðan við stríð (North of War)

The latest addition to my website is Indriði G. Þorsteinsson/Indridii G Thorsteinsson‘s Norðan við stríð (North of War). This novel is based on a little-known episode of World War II, when British troops occupied Iceland in May 1940, to forestall a German invasion. The Icelandic government reluctantly accepted the invasion though maintained their neutrality. The … Read more

Sarah Mkhonza: Weeding the Flowerbeds

The latest addition to my website is Sarah Mkhonza‘s Weeding the Flowerbeds, the first novel from Swaziland on my website Actually, this is a memoir, slightly fictionalised but, frankly, there is very little literature from Swaziland in English. Sarah Mkhonza tells the story of herself and other girls at two boarding schools in Swaziland during … Read more

Xiaolu Guo: A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers

The latest addition to my website is Xiaolu Guo‘s A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers. This is her first book written in English though it is (deliberately) written in bad English. It is a semi-autobiographical account of her own arrival in London and her struggles with the language and the culture. She writes as she … Read more

Rim Kin: សូផាត (Sophat)

The latest addition to my website is Rim Kin‘s សូផាត (Sophat), the first Cambodian novel published. It is a straightforward novel of love and loss. Sophat is born to an orphan woman, Soya, and her lover, the rich official, Suon. Suon abandons Soya when given an opportunity to return to Phnom Penh and while she … Read more

Chantal Fraïsse: La bèstia de totas las colors [The Beast of All Colours]

The latest addition to my website is Chantal Fraïsse‘s La bèstia de totas las colors [The Beast of All Colours], written in Occitan. This was prompted by my visit to Provence in May where I found bookshops, such as one called the Librairie de Provence, did not actually stock any books in Provençal/Occitan. On returning … Read more

Joanna Scott: Arrogance

The latest addition to my website is Joanna Scott‘s Arrogance, another superb novel by Scott, this one being about the Austrian artist Egon Schiele, who died aged twenty-eight during the influenza pandemic at the end of World War I. Schiele was not a man to observe conventional morality and was in trouble with local communities … Read more