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The collective memory of a generation: Annie Ernaux, The Years

Translated from the French by Alison L. Strayer (Fitzcarraldo, 2018) The opening line of Annie Ernaux’s The Years, “All the images will disappear”, both sets up and sums up her project: every memory of every life – from historical atrocity… Continue Reading

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“I sense a future within me”: coming of age as the wall comes down. Kerstin Hensel, Dance by the Canal

Translated from the German by Jen Calleja (Peirene, 2017) Dance by the Canal was the third book released by Peirene in their “East and West” series, and narrates an unconventional coming of age at a pivotal moment in German history… Continue Reading

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“Something terrible will happen”: Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream

Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell (Oneworld, 2017) Usually I think that the phrase “I couldn’t put it down” is just a figure of speech, but in the case of Fever Dream it sums up my reading experience. I… Continue Reading

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“Pulling apart the threads of destiny”: Jenny Erpenbeck, The End of Days

Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (Portobello Books, 2015) Jenny Erpenbeck is hailed as one of Europe’s most highly regarded writers, and in 2015 her stunning novel The End of Days won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (the last one… Continue Reading