RaveThe Guardian (UK)These ghosts are not the monstrous, vengeful spirits of the original stories; they are real people with agency and personalities, finally freed from the restraints placed on living women. Funny, beautiful, surreal and relatable, this is a phenomenal book.
Kate Reed Petty
MixedThe Spectator (UK)... written not only to entertain but to inform and change opinions ... The four-genre concept is generally effective. The treatment of Alice in the parts written as memoir is arguably more shocking than any of the gore and violence in the horror and thriller sections. Nick, with his blind willingness to defend his friends, is more dangerous than the cliché villain who follows him around. But, sadly, the idea seems more important than the story, which lacks focus, making the author too present and her characters merely part of an agenda.
RaveThe SpectatorListening is what Sherman is best at. Her passage around Tokyo is a form of listening, as she traces the sound-ranges of the bells ... Sherman’s is a special book. Every sentence, every thought she has, every question she asks, every detail she notices, offers something. The Bells of Old Tokyo is a gift ... points us to the diversities and complexities of Tokyo, and of Japan’s histories and systems of belief. It is a masterpiece. Sherman’s Tokyo, populated by Japanese voices — authors, artists, museum stewards, people in bars, cafes, or on the street, the religious and unreligious — is mesmerising and brimming with life.
PositiveThe SpectatorIn an especially moving passage, [Li] lists words that are no longer in her dictionary, among them ‘always’ and ‘forever’ ... Where Reasons End provides no escape from grief, as novels did from depression for Li during her breakdown. However, it does still provide ‘some kind of freedom.’ In it, the protagonist is free to converse with her son, even though he is dead; she can ask him questions and find his answers coming to her in her writing.
RaveThe Guardian\"This is Li’s debut, yet she writes with a confidence that suggests decades of experience. Descriptions are imaginative and evocative ... This is an insightful and elegant novel, beautifully written and with an impressively large and diverse cast of characters. In the Beijing Duck, Li has created a symbol for the real Chinese restaurants through which many immigrant families have established themselves in America.\
Fleur Jaeggy, Trans. by Gini Alhadeff
RaveThe GuardianJaeggy, a master of the short form, again creates something unforgettable with these otherworldly stories ... Told in Jaeggy’s characteristically jagged prose, these dark stories of madness, loss and murder are urgent and evocative. Central to each are surreal images reminiscent of paintings by Leonora Carrington or Max Ernst: 'her hands, like the claws of a crustacean, clutched at a little mound of dust.' This is an intensely beautiful and original collection that bristles with a strange and often disturbing magic.