The moment Hans saw the postcard-sized, paint-by-number picture of a labrador on his manager’s desk, he knew he was in trouble.
Appearing this month in English translation, Mélissa Verault’s 2014 novel Behind the Eyes We Meet (originally L’Angoisse du poisson rouge) unfolds as three major overlapping stories, spanning the present-day Plateau neighborhood of Montreal to the Russian labor camps active during the Second World War, to a small Italian town of both yesteryear and today.
Midday — and a crowded city square. Even on a weekday it’s busy with tourists and locals: standing, strolling, or sitting. Meantime the pigeons flock, like vultures.
From the opening pages of The Disintegrations, the narrator asserts that he “knows nothing about death, absolutely nothing,” yet what follows is a sweeping chronicle of death that suggests a journey from ignorance to some hazy understanding of the afterlife.
My support for the previous mayor caused indignation among my friends. Even Carola, who never voiced an opinion and never ever lost her shit, called me a fascist snob after I defended said mayor’s policies of cleaning the streets of vendors.
The most striking feature of Christopher Kang’s short story collection aside from its title, When He Sprang From His Bed, Staggered Backward, And Fell Dead, We Clung Together With Faint Hearts, And Mutely Questioned Each Other, a story in itself, is the subtitle advertising that the book contains 880 stories.
As I sit down to write this, the threat of nuclear war has become terrifyingly concrete. Over the last six months, it has increasingly become something people in the mainstream reasonably worry about.
My daughter likes me to tell her stories before bed. She keeps quiet as I try to weave something meaningful with words, her eyebrows knitted in concentration.
Lucy Biederman’s wonderfully inventive first book re-imagines The Papyrus of Ani, from the Book of the Dead (ca. 1250 B.C.E.) in a brisk, 70-page collection of vignettes she calls “spells.”
When you and I turned into snails, I tore myself from my shell, and we squeezed into yours.