Book Review: Uršuľa Kovalyk “The Night Circus and Other Stories” (trans. Julia and Peter Sherwood, Parthian 2019) – ‘opening up whole new worlds in a nutshell’


How much do you know about contemporary literature from Slovakia? Given that only a miniscule number of books published in English were originally written in another language, chances are that stories created in Bratislava, Košice and beyond are only known to dedicated fans. But with the thirtieth anniversary of the Velvet Revolution coming up this…

Julia Secklehner | 01/11/2019

Review: Hungarian Lit Night “Moholy-Nagy in Britain” by Valeria Carullo. An immersive book launch at the Hungarian Cultural Centre


In the two years László Moholy-Nagy lived in London (1935-1937), his creative energy and innovation were boundless. He charmed the British who warmed to his friendly, ebullient and witty character – ‘that lovely madman’. Poet Steven Fowler in opening the event said, ‘Everyone wants you to be one thing, go in a straight line, so…

Alison Miller | 24/10/2019

SlovakLiterature.com, a new site dedicated to bringing a curated experience of Slovak literature to English-language audiences.

SlovakLiterature.com is the brainchild of two translators, Julia Sherwood and Magdalena Mullek. It builds on their successful collaboration in editing and translating the anthology Into the Spotlight (2017) and continues and extends their promotion of Slovak literature through their jointly administered Facebook group. The site is being launched to introduce #Raising the Velvet Curtain, a series of…

Julia Secklehner | 14/10/2019

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


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

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


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

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’


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

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’


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