International Fiction reviews

Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes

It’s clear that Julian Barnes’ latest novel, Elizabeth Finch, is informed by the author’s friendship with the late novelist and art historian Anita Brookner. Ever since Flaubert’s Parrot (shortlisted…

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Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

Imagine winning one of the world’s biggest literary awards with your debut. In 2020, Scottish author Douglas Stuart became one of just six authors to win the Booker Prize for a first novel. Shuggie B

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Devil House by John Darnielle

John Darnielle is the singer and songwriter for the astonishing band, the Mountain Goats. Tremendously prolific, Darnielle has released more than 20 albums, and in my very humble opinion, is one the …

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Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda

Described succinctly as ‘the millenial take on the vampire novel’, Claire Kohda’s debut novel Woman, Eating is both exactly that and so much more. Written in the first person, this is the story of Ly…

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Sundial by Catriona Ward

Catriona Ward’s latest psychological horror, Sundial, is a harrowing, grisly tale of the bonds between mother and daughter, and how the buried secrets of the past are reflected in our children. The b…

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Violets by Kyung-Sook Shin & Anton Hur (trans.)

In 1970s rural South Korea, two girls share a moment of physical intimacy in a minari field. One of the girls vehemently rejects the other, setting her on a path of destructive loneliness and repress…

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The Sorrow Stone by Kári Gíslason

The Sorrow Stone by Kári Gíslason is without doubt the book I was most looking forward to reading this year. I have been an avid fan of his work since I read his extraordinary memoir The Promise of I

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The Colony by Audrey Magee

In the previous issue of our August newsletter one of my dear colleagues wondered if his reading year had peaked after finishing Hanya Yanagihara’s newest book. The very same notion has crept over me…

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Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

‘“What you have to understand,” she says “is that things can thrive in unimaginable conditions. All they need is the right sort of skin.”’

I first encountered Julia Armfield’s enormous aptitude for …

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Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

To fellow fans of the campus novel, particularly the subcategory of campus novels set in university English and creative writing departments, and even more specifically, the sub-subcategory featuring…

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