May 2019 #RivetingReviews Introduction by West Camel

There are some big, important books published this May – big and important for a variety of reasons. It is with this in mind that I have loosened the reins and allowed May’s Riveting Reviewers to write at greater length than usual. 

We have a moving and powerful feature review this month, from BBC journalist, Caroline Wyatt. Her reading of Kozłowski by Jane Rogoyska – a fictionalisation of the Katyń massacre; the mass murder of Polish officers by Soviet forces – has prompted her to reflect not only on Europe’s current position, but also on her own family history.  

We are delighted to have our Riveter-in-Chief, Rosie Goldsmith reviewing for us this month. Having just met author Faruk Šehić in Sarajevo, on the trip back she was moved to write a review of his devastating novel, Under Pressure, about the 1990s Balkans war.  

My own contribution for May is a review of Sjón’s Codex 1962. Published last year in hardback, the paperback came out just a couple of weeks ago – making available to more readers this wide-ranging work on fiction and mortality … possibly Sjón’s magnum opus (and deserving of the amount of words I’ve written about it).

Another big May book is Howard Curtis’s brand-new translation of Georges Simenon’s Maigret Hesitates. In his feature-length review, crime-fiction expert Barry Forshaw provides us with an account of the writer’s life and of his legacy as a crime writer, and reflects on the part he has played in translated crime fiction’s current popularity in the anglophone world. 

Max Easterman takes on yet another big May translation: Antoin Laurain’s latest, Vintage 1954, an intriguingly French take on time-travelling sci-fi. 

As well as these ‘major Mays’, we have reviews of the latest Roy Jacobsen (by Lizzy Siddal), of a memoir of life in Azerbaijan (from Ursula Phillips) and of surreal tales from Switzerland and Finland (Alyson Coombes and Lucy Popescu, respectively). 

Enjoy these interesting angles on the major European translations being published this month, and please feel free to respond to these reviews via our contact page and social media accounts. 

And watch out in June, when we’ll be publishing content, including #RivetingReviews, from The Queer Riveter magazine.

By West Camel 

If you’d like to contribute a #RivetingReview (and it has to be #Riveting), please read the #RivetingReviews Rules and then get in touch with us via our contact page. Our next deadline is 15 July 2019.

Category: May 2019Reviews

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