Jenny Erpenbeck on Life, Literature, and Activism

Book review: Not a Novel, by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Kurt Beals If the language that you can speak isn't enough, that's a very good reason to start writing. As paradoxical as it may be: The impossibility of expressing what happens to us in words is what pushes us towards writing. Whenever I haven't been... Continue Reading →

Two New Memoirs: Happiness in French Lit and Looking for Tigers in India

Au Revoir, Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature, by Viv Groskop This, then, is a book about the intersection between Frenchness and happiness through reading, as that is a place I have always found great comfort. My hope is to demonstrate, through the French writers I first discovered in my teens and twenties, how... Continue Reading →

Curzio Malaparte in Paris

Diary of a Foreigner in Paris, by Curzio Malaparte (Amazon / Book Depository) Italian war correspondent and author Curzio Malaparte is such an oddball figure. I really enjoyed his book Kaputt, about his experiences as a war correspondent in Eastern Europe during the Second World War, but I remember being unsure what was fiction and... Continue Reading →

The Life-Saving Magic of Poetry

Book review: Poetry Will Save Your Life, by Jill Bialosky "All poems become, to a certain degree, personal to a reader." Poet, editor, and novelist Jill Bialosky writes a memoir structured around the poems that have helped her through life, imbuing it with deeper meaning and giving subtle guidance and reassurances through turmoil and joy. Sometimes they act... Continue Reading →

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