August 2021 #RivetingReviews. Introduction by West Camel

The ELNet Riveting Reviews team generally takes August off, but this year, well, you know … So we are bringing you a selection of some of the best European books in English translation this month. It’s a little slimmed down, but no less thoughtful and perspicacious. 

We lead with a feature review – from our Italianist-turned-Russianist, Katherine Gregor – of the latest collection of Teffi stories. Katia has also quizzed the collection’s translator, Robert Chandler, so please do read her interview with him alongside her in-depth review of the book. 

We are going big(ish) on non-fiction this month. A new reviewer, translator Darcy Hurford, takes on Karl Schlögel’s history of three perfumes, while my deputy reviews editor, Rosie Eyre, is fascinated by Bruno Latour’s dissection of the climate crisis. And, having fallen in love with the original Polish book, our own Anna Blasiak reads in English Marcin Wicha’s account of going through his dear departed mother’s possessions

We stay, in a way, with the non-fiction theme with Max Easterman’s review. While The Passenger is a novel, it’s surely semi-autobiographical, and the story of its author feels as important as the tale it tells

Paul Burke is back with two reviews this month: of a cosy but dark Polish crime novel, and a Turkish exploration of war, prejudice and displacement

My contribution this month is a review of the latest Comma Press Reading the City anthology: The Book of Reykjavik. I’ll be hosting the online launch of the collection on 1 September – so please book your tickets now.   

Enjoy our reviews this month, share them with your friends and colleagues, and come back in September when we’ll be celebrating #WorldKidLitMonth. 

—West Camel 

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Category: August 2021


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