Author Archives: mandywight

The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated by Anne McLean-a Colombian story?

This is a story of informers and betrayal. Set in the Colombia of 1991, the narrative goes back to the Second World War and Colombia’s role as a place of refuge for Europeans of every political hue: German Jewish escapees … Continue reading

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Paula by Sandra Hoffmann- A family memoir.

This is a memoir about the life of the narrator’s grandmother, Paula. We know from the beginning that Paula’s main feature was her silence, a silence which was not a neutral state of peace and quiet, but was experienced by … Continue reading

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Tessa Hadley, the Midland Hotel and Bad Dreams

The best treat at the Midland Hotel a couple of weeks ago was the Afternoon Tea event with Tessa Hadley-as part of the Manchester Literature Festival she’d come to talk about her work and to read us the short story … Continue reading

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Gehen, ging, gegangen- Go, went, went by Jenny Erpenbeck.

Jenny Erpenbeck’s latest novel, now available in English translation by Susan Bernofsky, explores the plight of refugees in Germany today. Told from the point of view of Richard, a retired academic, who befriends a group of refugees, the novel relates … Continue reading

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Die Koenigin schweigt- The Queen is silent- by Laura Freudenthaler

This moving debut novel by the Austrian writer Laura Freudenthaler describes the life of the elderly and ailing Fanny, through her memories, conversations and stories she has told over years to her granddaughter. The vivid depiction of people and situations … Continue reading

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The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich- A polyphony of voices.

In this extraordinary book, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Svetlana Alexievich gives voice to women from all parts of the former Soviet Union who fought on the Soviet side in the Second World War. Travelling over several years, … Continue reading

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Die Mittagsfrau-The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck- translated by Anthea Bell.

As little Peter is woken up by a ray of sunshine falling across his bed, to the morning call of seagulls and his neighbour singing softly, we are drawn into the intimacy of his world in a town near the … Continue reading

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