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Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami (transl. Allison Markin Powell): Judging a book and its cover

This slim, beautifully written novel begins one evening when, ordering a meal at a bar, Tsukiko sits next to an elderly man who chooses exactly the same dish. She recognises him as her teacher from her secondary school days but cannot remember his name saying nothing until he notices her. To cover her embarrassment she

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Mr Lynch’s Holiday by Catherine O’Flynn: A novel with heart and humour

Catherine O’Flynn’s new novel comes with the kind of bright and breezy jacket that makes you want to pick it up plus a recommendation from Jonathan Coe praising her writing to the skies. Expectations were high, then, for this story of a father and son viewing each others’ lives uncomprehendingly across the chasm of misunderstandings,

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Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (transl. Carol Brown Janeway) Lost in Translation

When I was a reviews editor I tried my best to make sure that translators were credited in the bibliographic information that accompanies reviews. It didn’t always work: sometimes space was tight and the sub-editors had to cut the copy but sometimes the fact that it was a translated work was not immediately apparent. Perhaps

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Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda: More The Killing than Karin Slaughter

Visitation Street opens in a steamy Brooklyn heat wave. Two fifteen year-old-girls decide to escape their stultifying boredom, floating off into the bay’s greasy waters on a bright pink inflatable raft watched by two young men. Only one girl returns, washed up under the pier and in bad shape. The rest of the novel explores

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