Review | Rosa’s Bus, Fabrizio Silei, illus. Maurizio A. C. Quarello | Darf Publishers

Rosa’s Bus by Fabrizio Silei, who refers to himself as a “researcher of human stories and events”, is a perfect early learning book for children from the age of seven upwards. Beautifully illustrated by Maurizio A. C. Quarello, and sensitively translated from the Italian by Siân Williams, it is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

What does Grandpa want to show Ben?
Why is Ben being told such a scary story about men in white hoods with eyeholes?
What happened to the dignified lady taken off the bus in handcuffs like a criminal?
Why did her one action and the protest that followed change history?

Continue reading Review | Rosa’s Bus, Fabrizio Silei, illus. Maurizio A. C. Quarello | Darf Publishers

News | Celebrating Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, 7pm 18 January 2023, Irish Cultural Centre, London

A celebration of 25 years of Banipal Magazine translating and publishing contemporary Arab literature in English is being held at 7pm on Wednesday 18 January 2023 at the Irish Cultural Centre 5 Black’s Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT.

All are welcome however registration by way of an RSVP to the editors of Banipal Magazine via this webpage is essential in order to be included on the Guest List and gain entry.  Continue reading News | Celebrating Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, 7pm 18 January 2023, Irish Cultural Centre, London

Guest Review | Sharif Gemie | Take Six: Six Spanish Women Writers, (eds) Simon Deefholts & Kathryn Phillips-Miles | Dedalus Books

This welcome collection contains twenty-seven short stories by six influential Spanish women writers, written over the past one hundred and twenty years. The translations are fluent and easily readable, the editing ‘light-touch’ and unobtrusive.

One surprising feature of the stories is the constancy of the themes they address. The stories concentrate on marginalized, frustrated women, their lives stunted by male prejudice and violence. While the formats change, the key issues remain.

Continue reading Guest Review | Sharif Gemie | Take Six: Six Spanish Women Writers, (eds) Simon Deefholts & Kathryn Phillips-Miles | Dedalus Books

2022 in Review (part 2): Fiction and Nonfiction from 5 Indie Presses, Andrey Kurkov & The Children’s BookShow

Lack of time has meant that mastering the TBR&R pile has been a frustrating challenge this  year. Many fantastic books have been published in 2022 by independent trade publishers championed via The BookBlast Diary over the years. The intermittent support is mightily appreciated of a couple of donors who stepped into the breach when official funding organizations turned us down not once but three times apparently due to form filling-errors on our part, and our being based in London as opposed to the regions. Titles which caught the eye in 2022, listed in order of publication month, include:

LES FUGITIVES | The Child Who, Jeanne Benameur. Translated by Bill Johnston | 136pp May 2022 ISBN 978-1838490423

In your head of a child there are sudden bright skies wrested from a low, lingering, unfathomable sadness. Your mother has disappeared. Never mind that she was never entirely present, it was her smell, her warmth, her silent hands, that you relied on to feel that you truly existed.

Continue reading 2022 in Review (part 2): Fiction and Nonfiction from 5 Indie Presses, Andrey Kurkov & The Children’s BookShow

2022 in Review (part 1): Annie Ernaux, Olivier Guez, Empire Windrush & more    

What an odd post-pandemic year 2022 has been, deranged in so many ways, over and beyond the realities of Brexit hitting home, and the depressing normalization of exploitation by the Government and giant corporates across the board, as we enter “a different kind of recession where there are still lots of jobs but the recession is around our wages,” according to James Reed

Continue reading 2022 in Review (part 1): Annie Ernaux, Olivier Guez, Empire Windrush & more    

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