RavePloughsharesTheir conversations are rendered in Savaş’s restrained and spare prose, which perfectly explores the relationship between the blank narrator and self-portrait painting Agnes. And the writing’s steady sparsity echoes thematically throughout the novel. The most compelling is the narrator’s study of medieval nudity ... goes deep into human experience, beautiful and fraught, delivering a renewed perception of what it means to be a person among other people.
RavePloughsharesKing showcases her range as a short story writer, never allowing the reader to become too sure about her stories ... Throughout the collection, King continually builds tension and obliterates expectation, keeping the reader in a constant state of surprise ... King’s collection continually breaks through stereotypes, defying expectation and not allowing the reader to pinpoint anything typical about her short stories ... King’s care for her characters means that they are never simplified but allowed to revel in their complexity. The variety and disruptions are just other ways King honors how human life is never what we think it is, always changing and morphing. By allowing characters their full range of pain, vulnerability, and happiness, Five Winters drops readers into imperfect lives, evoking awe and anger and admiration and futility, reminding us how it feels to be human.
Zülfü Livaneli, tr. Brendan Freely
PositivePloughsharesThough no characters in Disquiet alleviate the horrors of genocide, they cross borders, enter lives, and make real the distant traumas for us readers whose only knowledge of the Syrian Civil War is headlines. No matter what we do or don’t do with this knowledge, there is no denying that Livaneli wants us to dwell on it and make it part of our lives.
Jenny Erpenbeck, Trans. by Susan Bernofsky
RaveThe Millions\"Erpenbeck’s mastery of language and image ripples through her pages. The body of a man drowned in the lake behind Richard’s house recurs throughout and expands in meaning each time he enters Richard’s mind. Her prose is so controlled and flowing—and superbly translated by Susan Bernofsky. Her chapters are compact lessons in form and function, some long, most short, all well-contained. I could go on, but you should find out for yourself.\