International Fiction reviews

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake is an expansive, engrossing, multi-layered story, encompassing multiple generations of a broken family. Estranged siblings Benny and Byron are reluctantly brought back together in their de…

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Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang

Joan is okay. At least as far as she is concerned. She’s in her thirties, with a successful career as an ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. She has fulfilled the American Dream that her par…

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Love Marriage by Monica Ali

At the heart of Monica Ali’s latest novel is, as the title suggests, the universal story of love and marriage. Those who have read Ali’s 2003 Booker-shortlisted novel Brick Lane will recognise her th…

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To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

This highly anticipated follow-up to 2015’s A Little Life is an epic tour de force. In fact, it’s impossible for me to praise To Paradise enough. Set in an alternative America, this is a novel of thr…

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Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket by Hilma Wolitzer

Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket is a brilliant collection of short stories spanning Hilma Wolitzer’s entire career. From 1966 to the 2020 pandemic, the stories are largely set in New York C…

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Men in My Situation by Per Petterson & Ingvild Burkey (trans.)

Men in My Situation paints a portrait of the effects of grief upon a fragile psyche, and as you are already guessing, the results ain’t pretty. Our first-person narrator, Arvid, lives in Oslo and his…

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The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

When I picked up a review copy of Louise Erdrich’s book about a bookseller who is haunted by a particularly annoying customer after she passes, I thought: ‘Fantastic! Finally, a lighthearted, cathart…

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The Fell by Sarah Moss

It is my belief that Sarah Moss is the undisputed queen of taking everyday stories that seem ordinary at first glance, and stuffing them full of delicious, near unbearable tension. The Fell does not …

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I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

‘I’ve tried to tell this story a bunch of times. This will be my last try…’ So begins Claire Vaye Watkins’ crackling original novel I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness. Its narrator is a woman called…

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Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, Crossroads, abandons the overt political messaging of Freedom and the narrative globetrotting of Purity, returning instead to the neurotic dramas of the Midwestern fa…

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