International Fiction reviews

Luster by Raven Leilani

There’s been some hype for this book and rightly so. It’s great to enjoy a debut novel as much as I enjoyed Luster. It follows Edie, a Black woman in her early 20s, as she becomes involved with Eric,…

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There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura

A truer sentiment than the title of this work of Japanese fiction could hardly be imagined at this time, but this pre-pandemic piece of writing follows its 36-year-old narrator’s search for a meaning…

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Memorial by Bryan Washington

Houston writer Bryan Washington caused a literary stir with the publication of his terrific debut story collection, Lot, which counts the 2020 International Dylan Thomas Prize and an endorsement from…

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The Silence by Don DeLillo

On an aeroplane a man recites flight data to his partner, half listening and writing in her notebook in the adjacent seat. Their conversation, spanning several pages, has somewhat of a stilted back a…

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Unquiet by Linn Ullmann

I must admit that I was initially drawn to this book thanks to a number of glowing endorsements from writers I admire – Rachel Cusk, Ali Smith, Deborah Levy among them – and a striking photograph on …

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Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Amanda, Clay and their two teenaged children are expecting a quiet vacation. They’ve rented an upmarket house on Long Island for a week – revelling in the chance to enjoy some rest from the bustle of…

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The Cold Millions by Jess Walter

The free speech fight of 1909 in Spokane, Washington, was a civil disobedience action staged by the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as Wobblies, under the charge of the then nineteen-year…

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The Death Of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

The Death Of Vivek Oji is the third novel from Nigerian-born Igbo and Tamil author Akwaeke Emezi in as many years. It opens with the death of Vivek Oji and, with graceful deftness, weaves back and fo…

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Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Sayaka Murata has really ramped it up with Earthlings. Her newly translated novel shares themes with Convenience Store Woman; Murata again writes about people who can’t or won’t meet society’s expect…

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Trio by William Boyd

As the title suggests, William Boyd’s new novel Trio follows the interconnected fates of three characters. Elfrida Wing is a novelist formerly celebrated as ‘the new Virginia Woolf’, but she’s mired …

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