Susan Osborne

Cover image for Freetown by Otto de Kat

Freetown by Otto de Kat (transl. Laura Watkinson): Chasing the past

When I spotted Freetown in the schedules, I put up my hand straight away. I’d come across Otto de Kat’s name several times, registering that he was probably an author whose writing would appeal, but somehow never getting around to reading anything by him. This beautiful, contemplative novella explores the lives and memories of Maria …

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Songs for the Flames by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (transl. Anne MacLean): Stories within stories

Given that Juan Gabriel Vásquez has not only won the prestigious International Dublin Literary Award but has also been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, together with his translator Anne MacLean, I feel I really should have read something by him before now. Songs for the Flames is his first short story collection for …

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Six Degrees of Separation – From The Turn of the Screw to Howard’s End Is on the Landing

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It works like this: each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six others to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the titles on the list, …

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Daughters by Lucy Fricke (transl. Sinéad Crowe): Friends forever 

Lucy Fricke’s Daughters is the second V&Q Books launch title I’ve reviewed in a week. Each is very different from the other, yet both are concerned with families and how they shape us. Whereas Sandra Hoffmann’s Paula was a moving piece of cathartic autofiction, Daughters is a road novel with a sharply comic edge which …

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