April 2021 #RivetingReviews – Introduction by West Camel

As we come to the end of this month of crowdfunding for the European Literature Network, and extend our thanks to all those who’ve donated and offered rewards as part of the campaign, it’s with pleasure that we show, with these #RivetingReviews, a little of what we do – and do well, we like to think. 

Our organisation is a network, and our reviewers are members of it. This month, for example, we have reviews from the ‘staff’, as well as from translators, and from readers who have joined us simply to celebrate the wealth and variety of writing from our closest neighbours. 

We have tales of immigration: from Algeria to France, in Aneesa Higgins’ review of Alice Zeniter, and from Turkey to Germany, in Lizzy Siddal’s thoughts on Selim Özdoğan

We also have books from the past that still have relevance today: Ursula Phillips reviews a satire of Polish politics from 1932, the English translation of which has won this year’s Found in Translation Award. And ELNet editorial assistant, Alice Banks, takes on a Catalan novel from 1974, set in 2050 and dealing with the very contemporary topic of gender identity. 

Dymphna Flynn and Rosie Eyre (another ELNet editorial assistant) review German novels, both of which focus on interconnected groups of characters – with some very contemporary concerns; while Max Easterman (ELNet’s business manager) takes on the latest crime novel-cum-political-socio-legal-treatise from the master of Italian noir, Gianrico Carofiglio. 

We have non-fiction too, with Johanne Elster Hanson’s exploration of Erika Fatland’s odyssey across Russia, and ELNet Director, Rosie ‘the Riveter’ Goldsmith’s encomium of Judith Schalansky’s latest book-cum-art-object

All these reviews have been provided, edited, formatted and posted for free; ELNet’s ability to provide much-needed exposure for translated literature depending now on the generosity of our contributors and our team. With the help of our donators – both through the crowdfunder and generally – we hope we can move on to a better financial footing, and continue the work that we see as essential to a healthy literary eco-system. 

Enjoy these reviews, go out and buy the books from bookshops, now that you can; and please, do donate.

—West Camel

Category: April 2021

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