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Book Review: Rachel Karafistan & Kamil Macejko’s “My Parents Are Not My Real Parents” (Centrala, 2017) – ‘truly unique’

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It’s difficult to say what kind of book My Parents really is. Judging by its cover, occupied by wallowing yellow hair and a lot of pink, naked flesh, suspicions are it’s a pop-coloured graphic novel that’s, somehow, a bit naughty. If that’s your assumption, you’d be wrong though. On the first few pages, author Rachel…

Julia Secklehner | 20/02/2019
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Book Presentation: ‘XY&Z – The real story how Enigma was broken’ (Dermot Turing, 2018) – ‘an informed and engaging presentation, which overturned previous myths’

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This real story, researched by historian Dermot Turing, was a revelation. Turing provided an informed and engaging presentation which deftly over-turned previous myths of how the Enigma was broken. His opening remarks elicited loud gasps from the packed audience. For as early as 1932, Turing revealed, Polish mathematicians and engineers had already cracked Enigma codes.…

Alison Miller | 23/01/2019
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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Old Farts. Short Stories about Aging from Romania’ (Centrala, 2017) by Sorina Vazelina – ‘real and imagined stories, funny and heart-breaking at the same time’

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An unassuming little book from the outside, Old Farts opens up a fantastic world at the inside. Author Sorina Vazelina (Sorina Vasilescu), a graphic storyteller from Romania, has filled the pages with short stories in comic form that talk about aging – candidly self-aware that these thoughts come from someone in their early 30s. The bookconsists…

Julia Secklehner | 14/01/2019
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Book and Film Adaptation REVIEW: ‘Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead’ (Tokarczuk, 2009) vs. ‘Spoor’ (Holland, 2017)

On 16 October, Curzon Bloomsbury hosted a screening of a Spoor, a film adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, which was translated into English this year, just after its author won the Man Booker International Prize for her constellation novel Flights (2007, translated in 2018).  The Screening was followed…

Iga Szczodrowska | 08/11/2018
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BOOK REVIEW: Varujan Vosganian’s ‘The Book of Whispers’ (Yale University Press, 2017) – ‘this book will one day have its place among the ranks of the classics’

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Varujan Vosganian is an Armenian-Romanian poet, essayist, and politician. His The Book of Whispers, or Cartea şoaptelor, sold in over 60,000 copies in Romanian, was originally published in 2009. In 2017, Yale University Press published the book in Alistair Ian Blyth’s lauded translation: it was longlisted for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize. The Armenian genocide…

Andreea Scridon | 21/07/2018
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Book Review: Augustin Buzura’s ‘Report on the State of Loneliness’ (Profusion Publishers, 2016) – ‘surprisingly teasing and leaving us wanting to hear more’

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For one part of the novel, Augustin Buzura’s Report on the State of Loneliness is exactly what the title describes: an old man sits in a remote mountain hut, pondering about death and a long life, which is reaching its end. Throughout his lamentations, we sense the despair of an aged intellectual coming to terms…

Julia Secklehner | 13/06/2018
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BOOK REVIEW: Mircea Eliade ‘Gaudeamus’ (Istros Books, 2018) – ‘an imperfect but enjoyable, atmospheric book’

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Mircea Eliade’s Gaudeamus, written in 1928, is loosely a sequel to the successful Diary of a Short-Sighted Adolescent, whose title speaks sufficiently for itself. The story’s continuation’s also a journal presented as a novel, this time a constellation of moral struggles and desires during the protagonist’s three university years as a philosophy student in interwar…

Andreea Scridon | 02/06/2018