March 2020 #RivetingReviews. Introduction by West Camel

In Boccaccio’s Decameron ten young people escape the plague-ridden city of Florence and spend ten days travelling between beautifully appointed houses in the Tuscan countryside and telling each other stories. It is a kind of group isolation – an escape from a virulent disease into an idyllic space where the imagination is given free rein. 

We don’t have Renaissance palaces to travel between, nor servants to provide us with daily banquets, but we do share something with those ten young Florentines: literature.  

So ELNet offers you eight literary delights: reviews from our contributors, still beavering away to bring you their thoughts on recent releases of European writing in translation. 

We welcome back our new contributor, Johanne Elster Hanson, who reviews the beginning of Jon Fosse’s major seven-part series. Also back is Fiona Graham, who reviews Erika Fatland’s journey through central Asia. 

Danny Hahn is another welcome returnee – reviewing one of Dedalus’ first children’s titles – as is Lizzy Siddal, who adores Daniel Kehlmann’s scurrilous historical novel, Tyll. Barry Forshaw’s crime review this month is the latest from best-selling Danish writer, Jussi Adler-Olsen. Our very own Anna Blasiak enjoys some gay prose poetry from Slovene Milan Šelj, and I take on what I think will soon be regarded as a forgotten classic: Mireille Best’s Camille in October.

Imagine yourself taking a feast of a breakfast at midday, then dancing to lute music during the afternoon, before settling down for an evening of story-telling – or reading – inspired by our Riveting Reviews this month.

The ELNet team continues its work to bring you the best of European literature in translation, so please check in to read our reviews each month. Stay home, stay healthy, and read! 

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. 

Category: March 2020


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