My Christmas present to you all: two short translations from Alexei Ivanov and Vyacheslav Kondratyev

Ivanov and Kondratyev are two Russian writers that you probably haven’t heard of (unless you read Russian, of course). “When Volodka the Lieutenant got up into the back of the tram, everyone recoiled from him. Understanding why, he immediately grew furious and turned against the public. There was, actually, one woman who got up andContinue reading “My Christmas present to you all: two short translations from Alexei Ivanov and Vyacheslav Kondratyev”

“The Goldfinch”: stars are beautiful because of the space between them

“…You are not mad, or wild, or grieving! You are not roaring out to choke her with your bare hands! Which means your soul is not too mixed up with hers. And that is good. Here is my experience. Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will killContinue reading ““The Goldfinch”: stars are beautiful because of the space between them”

My great reads of the year, so far: Kate Atkinson, Justin Cronin, Ali Eteraz, Graham Joyce

Life After Life: I’m a Kate Atkinson groupie and I love her recent spate of crime novels, but was so glad when she came back to playing with time and family and gnarled old fate in “Life After Life.” Maybe it’s the groupie in me talking, but I feel that Atkinson so rarely gets theContinue reading “My great reads of the year, so far: Kate Atkinson, Justin Cronin, Ali Eteraz, Graham Joyce”

The best lines about becoming a parent are to be found in a post-apocalyptic vampire trilogy

“A baby wasn’t an idea, as love was an idea. A baby was a fact. It was a being with a mind and a nature, and you could feel about it any way you liked, but a baby wouldn’t care. Just by existing, it demanded that you believe in a future: the future it wouldContinue reading “The best lines about becoming a parent are to be found in a post-apocalyptic vampire trilogy”

And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen

I told the hostess I needed a nice table to work at, and I almost meant it. Almost. But what I really needed was to just watch the Skytrain pass overhead, suck on a cocktail straw, and read Caitlin Moran. I needed to remember myself, and so I got to remembering. What it feels likeContinue reading “And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen”