#RivetingReviews September 2023 – Introduction by West Camel

Welcome to September’s Riveting Reviews. 

We’ve been absent a long time, I realise, and we know you will have missed us, but it’s been for good reason. Back in the spring, we published not one, but two editions of The Riveter magazine – The Spanish Riveter and The Austrian Riveter – and, as we always do, we have been posting every article, essay, feature, interview, and, of course, review, on our website. If you haven’t been able to read this wealth of insight yet, you can fill your literary boots by browsing eurolitnetwork.com, where PDFs of the magazines are also available. Or, if you’d like to get physical copies of the magazines, head to The Riveter page at online newsagents Newsstand and order your free copy (you just pay P&P). 

With the rentrée littéraire upon us, we asked our ELNet friends to send in reviews of what they’ve been reading over the summer, and the result is an interesting and varied selection of European writing in English translation. 

It appears that many of our contributors have been reading crime fiction recently, which should come as no surprise, as the genre very often provides a gateway to the literature of a new language. Max Easterman, our stalwart of crime reviewing, has enjoyed the latest Simenon classic to see a new Penguin edition and a literary thriller from Denmark by debut writer Jenny Lund Madsen, while Lizzy Siddal has been appreciating a new series from Romania by Tony Mott. We welcome a new reviewer, Sonja van der Westhuizen, who takes on the enigmatic Stella Blómkvist – the name of both the book’s protagonist and its author, who maintains a Ferranteseque anonymity, despite great success in their native Iceland. And Ewa Sherman is back, reviewing a Guillaume Musso’s literary crime novel The Stranger in the Seine, ably translated from the French by our very own former deputy reviews editor, Rosie Eyre. Ewa also takes on a literary novel with a crime slant – My Men by Norwegian writer Victoria Kielland, the tale of a nineteenth-century female serial killer.  

It’s been #WorldKidLit month, so we have children’s literature too, welcoming another new reviewer to the fold in the shape of Ayo Oyeku, who reviews a Spanish illustrated tale about finding a monster in your kitchen. 

It seems that our great leader, Rosie Goldsmith, has done nothing but read over the summer, as she contributes three great reviews this month – moving from Czech, to German, to Swedish, with a dystopian tale, a reflection on post-reunification, and the impact of a disappearance. 

And what have I been reading? Once again, Natalia Ginzburg. I loved the two new novellas from Daunts – of course I did. 

Enjoy our thoughts on our summer reads, and if you’d like to buy the books, please do so via our dedicated Bookshop.org page – it means we earn a few pennies that go towards keeping these reviews alive. 

Our next set of reviews will be published in December, and will be edited by our very own Max Easterman. We’d love to receive your reviews, so please get in touch at reviews@eurolitnetwork.com to let us know what you’d like to cover. The deadline for final copy is 12 December, and the pieces will be posted on 18 December. 

Until December! 

—West Camel

Category: September 2023


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