Tove Ditlevsen, trans. by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman
RaveZYZZYVAWhat emerges in these pages—via exacting translations by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman—is an unblinking investigation of the self: its inconsistencies, its ties to others, its basic wish to be understood ... Ditlevsen is a uniquely spatial writer, and childhood, for her, has the shape of a coffin: sharp-edged, narrow, a thing you \'run up against\' ... Humming beneath these scenes is her abiding interest in the relationship between literature and reality ... Ditlevsen is supremely engaged in a sense of truth. It’s a truth that is shifting and precarious, but always there—even in her most ruinous moments. Within The Copenhagen Trilogy, her truths appear again and again, awaiting a reader to find them, to listen, to understand.
PositiveZYZZYVA... an epic chronicle of lives played out under the shadow of this question. The narrative appears in long chapters told by individual villagers and a chorus of children, who speak in a roomy third-person plural ... Mbue wisely avoids any prescriptive authorial claims about [what] is most ethical ... What might have become a tidy blueprint for social resistance—complete with the \'happy ending\' those journalists raised—instead evolves into something more wounded, and less certain: an exacting account of what survives in the face of justice deferred. Even as Kosawa grows uninhabitable—too contaminated, too dangerous—there are still villagers who ask, as they always have: \'What do we do now?\'