Review: SKYLARK FARM by Antonia Arslan

 The Terminated

by Christopher De Bellaigue for NY Times Books (Feb. 4, 2007)

“After a silence dictated by shame, pain and politics that lasted the better part of a century, the suffering of Armenians massacred by the Ottoman Turks and their Kurdish allies during World War I has recently become an urgent issue.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 7:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: THE VIRGIN OF FLAMES by Chris Abani

The Recycled City

by Karen Olsson for NY Times Books (Jan. 28, 2007)

“Chris Abani has done an end-run around the immigrant novel. In two previous books, Abani, who was born in Nigeria, traced a path from third world to first: “GraceLand,” his bustling novel set in Lagos, closed with a young man’s departure for the United States; his novella “Becoming Abigail” followed the title character from Nigeria to London.”

Read full review here

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: OBLOMOV by Ivan Goncharov

Being and Laziness

by JosephFrank for The New Republic (Jan. 25, 2007)

“Anyone with a claim to literacy is familiar with the names of Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky, and can cite some of the titles of their most famous works. But Goncharov and his novel Oblomov, of which a new translation, a snappily colloquial and readable one, has just been published — who ever heard of them?”

Read full review at Powells.com

The Words Palette Extra

Like to read a few pages of an old edition of OBLOMOV? Click here.

Published in: on January 26, 2007 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: INES OF MY SOUL by Isabel Allende

Chile Con Mujeres

by Zee Edgell for Ms. Magazine (Jan. 21, 2007)

” Many readers will remember Isabel Allende’s bestselling The House of Spirits, her 1982 debut novel about a 20th-century family living in the unnamed country that represented her native Chile. In her latest work of historical fiction, Allende reaches back to the 16th century to recount the adventures of the real-life Inés Suarez, one of the few Spanish women who participated in Spain’s conquest of the New World and who is considered by some the founding mother of Chile. ”

Read full review at POWELLS 

Published in: on January 23, 2007 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: MATTERS OF HONOR by Louis Begley

 Hurdles in Harvard Yard and Worlds Beyond

by Michiko Kakutani for NY Times Books (Jan. 11, 2007)

“Louis Begley’s latest novel, “Matters of Honor,” is a kind of pale, male version of Mary McCarthy’s novel “The Group” — moved from Vassar to Harvard, from the class of 1933 to the class of 1950-something. It is also devoid of McCarthy’s biting, satirical wit and keen eye for social distinctions; none of its central protagonists emerges as a compelling or even believable individual.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: SACRED GAMES by Vikram Chandra

Gangsta Raj

by Paul Gray for NY Times Books (Jan. 7, 2007)

“This immense, demanding novel can be recommended, with scarcely a cavil, to well-educated Indians who have lots of free time, are fluent in (at the very least) English and Hindi, and have a thorough knowledge of South Asian politics; Hindu, Muslim and Sikh religious practices; and the stars and story lines of hundreds of Bollywood films.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Review: THE INITIALS OF THE EARTH by Jesus Diaz

Living with Fidel

by Terrence Rafferty for NY Times Books (Jan. 7, 2007)

“Within the revolution, everything; outside the revolution, nothing,” has long been a favorite saying of Fidel Castro’s, the memorable, simple-sounding formula he has cited when he has felt the need to silence a critic, justify an apparently indefensible repressive measure or simply remind Cubans that his all-seeing eye is ever upon them.”

Read full review here 

Published in: on January 10, 2007 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: THE CLEFT by Doris Lessing

Women and Children First

by Geraldine Bedell for Guardian Unlimited Books (Jan. 7, 2007)

“Doris Lessing has always been a novelist enthralled as much by ideas as people and, in her latest book, she more or less does away with people altogether. To be strictly accurate, her latest book is set among a race of pre-people, as they emerge fumblingly into what we might think of as people-hood.”

Read full review here

Published in: on January 9, 2007 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review: A WOMAN IN JERUSALEM by A.B. Yehoshua

Bomb Scene

by Ruth Franklin for The New Republic Online (Jan. 4, 2007)

“According to the Jewish calendar, the day begins at sundown. This runs counter to the way most people experience time, but it makes a peculiar sense in the novels of A.B. Yehoshua, in which the most important activities almost always take place at night, and the main characters are insomniacs, either by choice or by compulsion.”

Read full review at POWELLS.COM

Published in: on January 5, 2007 at 12:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

LET THE NORTHERN LIGHTS ERASE YOUR NAME by Vendela Vida

Are You My Mother?

by Madison Smart Bell for NY Times Books (Dec. 31, 2006)

“I had hired the new Hungarian florist in town to do the flower arrangement,” the narrator of Vendela Vida’s new novel says of her father’s funeral. “A mistake. A ruby banner hung diagonally, like a beauty contestant’s sash, across a garish bouquet near the casket. In large silver lettering: BE LOVED.” ”

Read full review here

Published in: on January 1, 2007 at 3:28 pm  Leave a Comment