Ironically, I requested Italo Calvino’s Mr. Palomar (1983; translated by William Weaver, 1985) with Kyoto in mind, for the scene at the “garden of rocks and sand of the Ryoanji”: “The rectangular enclosure of colorless sand is flanked on three sides by walls surmounted by tiles, beyond which
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Marion Poschmann’s The Pine Islands (2017; Trans. Jen Calleja 2020) was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2019. The jury describes it like this: “A quirky, unpredictable and darkly comic confrontation with mortality.” Her first book was published in Germany in 2002 and, since, her work has been
Within the first few pages of Watching You Without Me, I was reminded of why I enjoy Lynn Coady’s work so much, her capacity to inhabit characters so thoroughly. Here, we have Karen, who’s returned to Nova Scotia to settle matters with her developmentally disabled older sister, following their
My experience reading David Bergen runs the gamut. When I first read The Time in Between, I felt disengaged from the story. Years later, stuck in a waiting room with The Matter with Morris (2010), I recognized layers to his storytelling which I’d missed before. With The Age of
For readers who have met Steven first in “Let it Pass” and then, much younger, in “In a War”, it would have been doubly significant to come across this passage, in a story about the Steven-between-youth-and-age: “In plain terms, this is not a recollection but the memory of