#RivetingReviews, April 2020. Introduction by West Camel

We’re into our second month of UK lockdown but we’re still reading, still writing and still sharing our thoughts about European literature. 

We take a trip around the Nordics this month. Barry Forshaw goes to Norway – reviewing the latest from Kjell Ola Dahl, and to brighten up your isolation, he offers a review of a classic crime novel – the first in Henning Mankell’s Wallander series. 

We welcome a new reviewer to the fold this month – Paul Burke, who takes on Icelander, Jón Kalmar Stefánsson’s latest. Johanne Elster Hanson is back with a review of a book of Norwegian reportage by Åsne Seierstad, and Ewa Sherman goes to the far north of Sweden with Elin Willows. 

We’re also in prison: Alyson Coombes covers a dark Italian novel of prison visits and crime, while Fiona Graham is deeply moved by the shocking tale of Morroco’s Tazmamart jail. 

Ursula Phillips and I go to Poland – Ursula to discover the king of Warsaw’s crime fraternities, and I to review a coming-out/coming-of-age 1980s novel. 

And finally we have poetry – in the form of the Albanian-Italian Gëzim Hajdari, reviewed by our own Anna Blasiak.

Also this month we have a special set of reviews, covering the EBRD Literature Prize shortlist. The prize was won by Devilspel by Grigory Kanovich, translated from Russian by Yisrael Elliot Cohen, which is reviewed by the EBRD’s Deputy Secretary General, Colm Lincoln, alongside reviews of Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina and Pixel by Krisztina Tóth.

Enjoy these incisive takes on recent European writing and please share them with everyone you can. Always important, literature is ever more vital in this isolated, isolating era – so please help us make the less-read work more widely consumed.  

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: ReviewsApril 2020


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