PositiveThe Guardian (UK)Almas’s story is certainly testament to what can happen when borders are porous and opportunities abound ... offers an incisive and tender reminder that life does not take place in neat categories, no matter where you are from. We are many-sided and infinitely malleable, and all the better for it.
Kikuko Tsumura, trans. by Polly Barton
PositiveProspect Magazine (UK)...surreal ... There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job follows several successful books documenting the grinding nature of contemporary white-collar work.Tsumura’s novel does not dwell on the thanklessness of such labour, even if the notion supplies its form. As suggested by the title, the apparent \'easy\' nature of our protagonist’s jobs quickly becomes supplanted by supernatural, humorous mysteries ... If the neurotic in the modern \'work novel\' is an impotent rebel of their time, rattling about with nervous energy and intent on finding evidence for their specialness that cannot be satisfied by the social conditions of the world, Tsumura’s protagonist embodies the subject that these conditions prefer ... Upon reaching its conclusion, the \'work novel,\' can choose to either deliver transcendence for its subjects, or double down on the apparent pointlessness of their condition ... You get a sense that there might be something more, if only you had the energy to look.
PositiveThe White ReviewBland Fanatics points to the tragic irony in how the very same cheerleaders of Western civilisation may have in fact engineered their own decline ... Mishra’s analysis of Anglo-American barbarism is cutting ...
RaveThe Guardian (UK)When it was published in 2016, Miller’s letter stunned readers with the clarity of her voice, acuity of her rage and expansiveness of her empathy towards those in need of support. Her story offered other victims a shared language; Miller recalls receiving thousands of supportive letters from women recounting their own stories. Her memoir has this same mix of the intimate with the communal, placing her own pain against a backdrop of shared suffering ... Against a system that leads victims to recede into their own spheres of private suffering, Know My Name creates a space where this pain can sit and receive support from others ... In a world that asks too many survivors to keep their experiences to themselves and shrink their suffering to preserve someone else’s potential, Know My Name stands unapologetically large, asking others to reckon with its author’s dazzling, undiminishable presence. To read it, in spite of everything, inspires hope.
RaveThe White ReviewThe nine essays in Trick Mirror capture the slow-burning, quiet dread that comes with living in a world where information is so plentiful – and the need to persistently better yourself has never been stronger – that it induces a paralysing helplessness in the emotionally exhausted subject. But some subjects have been more primed to negotiate this hellscape of willful self-delusion and self-abasement than others ... Tolentino’s writing is not only satisfying to read unto itself, but also wields a two-pronged symbolic importance: it shows heritage publications that they can be both ‘unserious’ and immensely insightful ... To read her is to want to protect her ... puts the reader through a wringer of the multiple contradictions, self-deceptions, and collective delusions that mark our current moment. In dissecting the doomed impotence our individual selves, it also quietly breaks open a new line of inquiry .
PositiveChicago Review of Books\"While Winter had an almost claustrophobic, insular feel, telling the story of internal familial dysfunction under one roof, Spring breaks out of this isolation to deliver a delayed wintertime tale of Christ-like redemption by stressing the interconnectedness of all people and things ... Spring, like much of Ali Smith’s work, is so full of... scintillating tangents and asides that a standard review could not possibly do justice ... a novel that by no means purports to heal us, but at least shake us out of ourselves so that we can try.\
Wioletta Greg, Trans. by Eliza Marciniak
RaveThe Financial Times\"Underneath the pastoral whimsy...lurk threats both political and personal. An unflattering painting of Moscow sees Wiola visited by an inquisitive official, and her passage into young adulthood attracts the attention of predatory men. Wioletta Greg’s first novella shines with a surreal and unsettling vigour. As an award-winning poet, Greg writes with a lyricism that brings alive the charms and dangers of Wiola’s life, while an afterword by translator Eliza Marciniak offers valuable historical context.\