Author Archives: SZ

About SZ

Like dice in mid-air.

CROW: FROM THE LIFE AND SONGS OF THE CROW

You have to love certain things for their resilience rather than their beauty. A warning, though, if you love for beauty, you cannot love this book. Continue reading

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THE BRIDGE

The bridge presented in the novel is constructed in both physical and metaphysical place. The plot is disarmingly easy as you can see above, but the multitude of selves which are addressed fattens out this particular plot beautifully. Continue reading

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Women in Translation Month

This August marks the third annual Women in Translation Month (WITmonth), as introduced by Meytal Radzinski back in 2014.

There is no set schedule of books to read this year, no geographical areas or particular languages that have been highlighted either. So, what exactly are the rules, then? Simply to read women in translation, share books you have read or are currently reading, and to seek new women writers in translation. Continue reading

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ANNA KARENINA

Anna’s brother lazily accept truths to excuse his behaviour, Levin struggles in the quest to understand truth and meaning within his life, and Anna is destroyed by her desire to be truthful in a hypocritical society. Continue reading

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A COUNTRY DOCTOR’S NOTEBOOK

There are a fair few funny anecdotal tales which make up the bulk of this book, full of annoying patients (like myself), ridiculous situations, moments of extreme panic and self-doubt on the narrator’s part too. This doctor is fresh out of school, clinging onto academic achievements and really is thrown into the deep end: he isn’t assigned to work in a hospital with other doctors, he is completely alone and in charge of a surgery where he now has to put medical theory to practice for the first time. Continue reading

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THE BLUEST EYE

What Morrison gives us is a coming-of-age/coming-to-terms novel relating the formative experiences of her characters and how in each case there is a failure in coming to terms with the events experienced or attitudes inherited. Continue reading

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(FINALLY) THE MASTER AND MARGARITA

“Manuscripts don’t burn.” Ironically, this novel started off as a burnt manuscript and it is an unfinished novel still with fragmented sentences and unexplained loose ends here and there in the book. Knowing it would never be published, Bulgakov spent years amending and revising parts of the novel up until his death in 1940. In M&M there is a lot of Bulgakov himself in there… Continue reading

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THE PRELUDE

As much as I respect this text (and I do, it should be read), I have always said from the moment I finished reading that Wordsworth here is like a child constantly kicking away the ball he keeps bending over … Continue reading

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IBN FADLĀN AND THE LAND OF DARKNESS: ARAB TRAVELLERS IN THE FAR NORTH

Arab travellers and Vikings coming together… sounds like fiction (and Crichton did create a decent story out of this premise in Eaters of the Dead), but not the case. This book compiles accounts by Arab travellers detailing various Turkic people who populate northern regions where the nights are so short “there is no time for the water to boil before the dawn prayer.” Continue reading

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