Monthly Archives: May 2014

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, tr. by Allison Markin Powell

Sensei, I whispered. Sensei, I can’t find my way home.

But Sensei wasn’t here. I wondered where he was, on a night like this. It made me realise that I had never telephoned Sensei. We always met by chance, then we’d happen to go for a walk together. Or I would show up at his house, and we’d end up drinking together. Sometimes a month would go by without seeing or speaking to each other. In the past, if I didn’t hear from a boyfriend or if we didn’t have a date for a month, I’d be seized with worry. I’d wonder if, during that time he’s completely vanished from my life, or become a stranger to me.

Sensei and I didn’t see each other very often. It stands to reason since we weren’t a couple. Yet even when we were apart, Sensei never seemed far away. Sensei would always be Sensei. On a night like this, I knew he was out there somewhere. (pg. 59, Portobello Books)

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Strange Weather in Tokyo is the story of Tsukiko, a woman in her late thirties, who re-encounters one of her old high-school teachers (‘Sensei’, a man thirty years or so her senior) in a sake bar. They meet by chance one evening and over the course of the following months a connection develops as they seek solace in food, beer and sake. Their relationship feels quite unstructured; they rarely make arrangements to reconnect and weeks can pass before their visits to the sake bar coincide. They are both essentially quite solitary individuals, but there’s a sense that they gain some comfort from these encounters.

The story is told through the eyes of Tsukiko and there is an almost dreamlike, slightly surreal quality to the narrative as it unfolds over the course of the novel. We follow the couple as their relationship evolves and deepens; it starts with shared moments in the sake bar and develops to include trips to a local market, a mountain hike to collect mushrooms and a cherry blossom party. There are some wonderfully-observed details in these passages; nature features as a theme and we see the changing of the seasons as the months pass. Another passage features a description of Sensei’s house with its collection of railway teapots and this adds to the slightly offbeat tone of the novel.  In a poignant scene Tsukiko attempts to peel an apple whole, in one long curly piece (she had impressed a former boyfriend some years ago by managing to keep an apple skin intact). This time, however, the apple skin breaks part way round and Tsukiko bursts into tears as the broken peel comes to signify her loss. Tsukiko had been very much in love with this former boyfriend, but she seemed unable to express her feelings or demonstrate she cared for him.

I loved the delicate, nuanced quality of the relationship between Tsukiko and Sensei. There are times when they seem to communicate predominantly through feelings, using few words, soundlessly conveying deeper emotions and intimacy through thoughts and gestures. The unstated, yet deep nature of their relationship contrasts somewhat with Tsukiko’s brief flirtation with an old classmate from school (Kojima) whom she bumps into at the cherry blossom event. There’s a sense that Tsukiko is only content and able to settle in some way when she is with Sensei.

Everything felt so far away. Sensei, Kojima, the moon – they were all so distant from me. I stared out of the window, watching the streetscape as it rushed by. The taxi hurtled through the night-time city. Sensei! I forced out a cry. My voice was immediately drowned out by the sound of the car’s engine. I could see many cherry trees in bloom as we sped through the streets. The trees, some young and some many years old, were heavy with blossom in the night air. Sensei, I called out again, but of course no one could hear me. The taxi carried me along, speeding through the city night. (pg. 92)

I found this to be a beautifully-written and moving novel, expertly and sensitively translated by Allison Markin Powell. I think it will stay with me for some time; the ending in particular brings real emotional weight to the story of Tsukiko and Sensei’s relationship. I read this book last year and revisited it in January for Tony Malone’s focus on Japanese literature (January in Japan) and can recommend it to anyone interested in a quietly powerful book about loneliness, connections and the uncertain nature of relationships.

This review was originally published as a guest post on Tony Malone’s January in Japan blog (27th January 2014) and Tony has kindly granted his permission for me to republish it here.

Strange Weather in Tokyo has been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (which I’ve been shadowing along with a group of book bloggers). Other members of the IFFP shadow group (Stu, Tony Malone and Tony Messenger) have also reviewed this book (published in other markets under the title of The Briefcase). And here’s another review from Naomi at The Writes of Women. Just click on the links to read their thoughts.

Strange Weather in Tokyo is published in the UK by Portobello Books. Source: personal copy.

Pieropan Calvarino and a herby dressing for salmon

Last weekend some close friends came over for Sunday lunch. We’re in the middle of a run of birthdays at the moment, so I decided to open something nice. Step forward the Calvarino from Pieropan (2010 vintage). It’s a wine I know and love. I have a bit of a thing for Italian whites, Italian wines in general if truth be told.

This wine, produced by the Pieropan family, comes from the heart of the Soave Classico zone in Italy’s Veneto region. The name Calvarino derives from ‘little calvary’ reflecting the difficulty of working this steep and challenging vineyard.

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The wine itself (a blend of 70% Garganega and 30% Trebbiano di Soave) was rich and delicious; quite floral on the nose, but I could also smell lemon zest, pears and almonds…perhaps a hint of straw, too. On the palate, I’d describe it as an elegant fusion of lemon oil, pears and the merest touch of honey. That’s not to say the Calvarino is sweet in any way. It’s very much a dry wine, but there was just enough of a contrast to soften and balance the edges of acidity from the lemony notes. The finish was long and citrusy with an interesting mineral note (interesting in a good way).

The Calvarino is a complex wine, one best partnered with food, as opposed to being sipped on its own. Luckily the lunch I’d prepared proved up to the job of matching this stylish Italian. We enjoyed the wine alongside some salmon fillets, Jersey Royals and green beans, all accompanied by a punchy, herby dressing – this is where the salmoriglio comes in.

I got the idea for the salmoriglio dressing from a Rick Stein recipe on the BBC Food website, although I made a few tweaks to it, mainly to dial up the lemon. So here’s my version of the salmoriglio – fantastic with baked salmon fillets and I could also see it working with tuna, chicken or as a marinade for feta cheese. In my haste to serve lunch, I forgot to take a photo of the dressing before we sat down to eat, but I did manage to capture a shot of the last spoonful or two before we finished.

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Salmoriglio Dressing (serves 4):

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tbsp water

2½ tbsp lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, crushed or very finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Pinch of salt and pinch of pepper to taste

Place the oil, water and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together until thick and emulsified. Add the garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and stir well. You can add a little more oil or lemon to suit your preferences. Spoon the dressing over baked or grilled salmon fillets with new potatoes and serve.

Wine stockist: I bought the Pieropan Calvarino 2010 from The Wine Society

A quick ‘hello’ and plans for the blog over the next few weeks

Hello, and thanks for dropping by. It’s still early days for me as far as blogging goes, but I thought it might be useful if posted a few lines on my plans for this blog and what you can expect to see over the forthcoming weeks.

I’ve started this blog primarily to share my thoughts and reviews of books. If you follow me @JacquiWine on twitter, you’ll probably be aware that I’ve been participating in a shadow group for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP) 2014. The prize aims to honour the best work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2013. Our shadow group, ably chaired by Stu at Winstonsdad’s blog, consists of a group of six bloggers and readers from around the world. Over the past couple of months, we’ve all been reading, reviewing and rating the longlisted books. My fellow shadow-group members (Bellezza, David, Stu, Tony Malone and Tony Messenger), along with Naomi at The Writes of Women, have been hosting my IFFP reviews as guest posts and I’ll be publishing my reviews here over the next two weeks. In order to get started, I’ve already posted my reviews for the following four books:

The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon (translated from the Arabic by the author)

The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim (translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright)

Ten by Andrej Longo (translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis)

A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli (translated from the French by Sam Taylor)

I’m planning to publish reviews for the other IFFP-longlisted books over the forthcoming weeks with a new post every 2 or 3 days or so. I’ve yet to post reviews here for many of my favourites from this year’s IFFP, so do keep an eye out for future raves!

I’m also planning a couple of posts on Elena Ferrante including reviews of the first two books in her Neapolitan Novels series — My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Nameboth of which come with a very high recommendation from me. These reviews will probably be up in a couple of weeks from now.

While the focus for the IFFP is fiction in translation, I read a range of literary fiction, both contemporary and older works – novels, novellas and short story collections. I also enjoy the occasional non-fiction book, too. Alongside translations, I’m particularly interested in anything noirish/hardboiled, relatively modern classics and the best in contemporary fiction, so I plan to cover a variety of books (not solely translations).

As you may have gathered from my name, I’m a lover of wine, so I’m sure I’ll be posting some thoughts on favourite wines (just as a way of documenting my own wine notes).

Well, that’s about it for now. Thanks for dropping by and reading. If you have any comments or thoughts on the blog, I’d love to hear from you. And thanks for all the very kind support, RTs, messages and favourites on twitter – it means a lot.

A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli, tr. by Sam Taylor

A Meal in Winter is a slim novella, yet it punches well above its weight. The setting is the heart of the Polish countryside at the time of the Second World War. The novella opens in a military camp as three German soldiers — Bauer, Emmerich and the unnamed narrator of the narrative — appeal to their camp commander by volunteering to look for any Jews who might be hiding in the surrounding area. By so doing, the soldiers hope to avoid the more harrowing task of executing captives, as they would ‘rather do the huntings than the shootings’. The commander grants the soldiers’ request and they leave at the crack of dawn the following morning before the first shootings begin. This means missing breakfast, too, but it’s a price they’re willing to pay to avoid their immediate supervisor, the heartless Lieutenant Graaf.

A MEal in Winter

As the soldiers spend a gruelling day combing the countryside in search of a Jew (‘one of them’), the bitter chill of winter and lack of nourishment begin to take their toll:

We came down from the hill where we had smoked. Bauer whined like a dog that he should never have sat down in the snow, that he felt cold all over now. Emmerich told him to stop, though he said it lightly, not really meaning it. Bauer yelled at us that he’d decided to whine until dark. We found another road and stayed on it for a while. It was a relief not to sink into snow at every step. On the whole, we preferred the frozen potholes, even if they were dangerous. (p. 32)

I was beginning to feel hungry, but I didn’t dare bring the subject up yet. None of us had dared mention it since we left that morning. My stomach ached. Sometimes, when I turned my head too quickly, I felt dizzy. It must have been the same for Emmerich and Bauer. (p 32-33)

They find a young Jewish boy cleverly concealed in a hole in the forest, only given away by the heat and snow-melt surrounding the ground-level chimney of his dug-out. Relieved at having captured a prisoner, the soldiers head back to camp. Chilled to the bone, tired and ravenous, they chance upon a deserted hovel and decide to shelter awhile. In desperate need of warmth, the soldiers build a fire and begin to prepare a simple soup from a few meagre ingredients; meanwhile their captive sits quietly in the storeroom.

A Polish man arrives at the hovel; at first his intentions are unclear but his actions soon show his vehemently anti-Semitic nature.

The pole took a step forward, almost touching us, then looked inside the storeroom, through the half-opened doorway. Because, up to this point, the Jew, though very close, had been invisible to him. The Pole stayed there now, motionless in front of us, staring with his black eyes at the squatting Jew, who stared sadly back. After a moment, the Pole turned his gaze on us, and the distinguished handsomeness of his face vanished. He opened his mouth and bared his gums in a kind of monstrous smile, like a dead fish without teeth. (p. 94)

As preparations for the meal unfold, questions arise: should the soldiers share their meal with the Pole in return for a slug of his potato alcohol? Can he be trusted? Will tensions flare and erupt? The mood oscillates and small shifts in the dynamics unfold across the group as each soldier starts to question his choices and the moral implications of his mission…and shadows cast by earlier events are ever-present.

This is a stealthily gripping novella with a real sense of foreboding. The small cast of five key characters coupled with the confined setting of the hovel give the drama a theatrical feel and I could almost see it working as a play. I love the way it quickly whips up an atmosphere and tangible sense of place from the first page. The prose style is fairly spare and to the point (and hats off to Sam Taylor for some sterling work on the translation). There’s not a spare word on the page, and yet it manages to pack a great deal into 135 pages.

I read this novel on a relatively mild spring evening, yet Mingarelli’s vivid depiction of the frozen landscape and biting conditions left me craving the warmth of a bowl of Ribollita, my favourite soup.  And this feeling was only heightened by the soldiers’ anticipation of their meal:

The soup looked good and smelled good. The slices of salami floated on the surface, carried there by the cornmeal, now cooked. The melted lard was still boiling.

We turned away from the stove, and the heat caressed our backs. We watched steam rise from the soup. My head was spinning. We looked at the slices of bread. The soup was continuing to simmer. The edges of the bread were toasted, reminding us of things past. (p.115)

Dare I say this is another book I’d love to see on the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP) shortlist? While Mingarelli has written many novels and short stories, this is his first to appear in English; I sincerely hope we’ll be able to read more of his novels and short stories in years to come.

I read this book as part of an IFFP-shadowing project led by Stu. Other members of the IFFP shadow group have also reviewed A Meal in WinterStuTony Messenger and David Hebblethwaite – just click on the links to read their thoughts. This review was originally published as a guest post on Tony Malone’s blog (25th March 2014) and Tony has kindly granted his permission for me to republish it here.

A Meal in Winter is published in the UK by Portobello Books.

Source: library copy.

The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright

I’m back with my thoughts on another of this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist (which I’ve been reading along with a group of book bloggers chaired by Stu).

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The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright, is published in the UK by Comma Press. This collection of fourteen short stories gives us a striking insight into the traumas and turmoil that penetrate the lives of Iraqis. Instances of violence, slaughter and torture are commonplace and these stories are peppered with searing images:

I heard what you wrote yesterday. How the first explosion shredded Marwan’s face. The windows shattered and the cupboards fell on top of him. His mouth filled with blood. (pg. 57)

Characters are often trying to erase or contend with painful memories of past events. Blasim draws on fables, dreams and metaphors to great effect here, mixing the surreal with the tangible to illustrate the nightmares that haunt these people as they go about their lives:

The trees sprouted out of the ground, then spread and grew within minutes to a height of more than a hundred feet. They were born dead, without leaves, and their thin branches were entangled like broken cobwebs. Every tree killed the ground for half a mile around it in a circle. The soil turned to rock and no form of life survived. It was a disaster. (pg. 105)

The Iraqi Christ is a powerful and vivid set of stories. I particularly liked the mix of abstract and realist elements, especially in ‘The Hole’ and ‘A Wolf’ (two of the strongest stories in this book). In ‘The Hole’, we meet a man on the run from two gunmen. Our man drops into a hole in which he finds a djinni and the body of Russian soldier from another war. The story has a hallucinatory quality to it, as does ‘A Wolf’ in which the lines between reality and imaginary horrors start to blur:

I was on my way to the bathroom when I saw the thing running towards me from the sitting room. I jumped into the bathroom and slammed the door behind me. I was like someone who’d seen the Angel of Death. It was a wolf. A wolf, I swear. (pg. 46)

Blasim’s collection of stories certainly deserves its place in the IFFP longlist, but I don’t think it’s quite up there with some of the other contenders for this year’s prize (and it’s a strong field this time). The stories vary in their approach and tone; some of the tighter, more focused narratives worked particularly well for me, while others I found a little meandering at times. At one point, a character says:

But we’ve strayed from the subject. Is my chatter making you dizzy? (pg. 50)

Yes, perhaps just a little. And yet, like many of the books I’ve read from the IFFP longlist, this one took me to a different place, another world.

Other members of the IFFP shadow group have also reviewed this collection: StuTony Malone and Tony Messenger – just click on the links to read their thoughts. This review was originally published as a guest post on Bellezza’s blog (2nd April 2014) and she has kindly granted her permission for me to republish it here.

The Iraqi Christ is published in the UK by Comma Press. Source: library copy

Ten by Andrej Longo, tr. by Howard Curtis

I’ve been reading this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist (along with a group of book bloggers chaired by Stu) and this post covers my thoughts on another of the longlisted titles.

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Andrej Longo’s Ten consists of a series of hard-hitting short stories set in Naples. Each story takes one of the Ten Commandments as its theme and we see regular working-class people struggling to get by in the face of temptations and challenges that come their way.

In the first story we meet a teenage boy who wants to keep his head down and stay on the right side of the tracks. But he gets caught up in trouble during a night out with his girlfriend, the consequences of which will set his life on a different trajectory. Another story centres on a talented singer who becomes too ambitious and greedy. We follow his rise and fall into a life of drugs and debt – in the end his only way out is to become a guinea pig, thereby enabling his dealer to test the safety of each batch of coke:

I get off at the terminal. I lean on the wall to stop myself from falling and drag myself to where there’s an open space. I sit down in the sun or the rain, it’s all the same to me, and I wait, leaning against a pillar, like the others. I wait for them to bring the syringe, already filled, look for a vein that still has room, and put the needle in. And they wait to see the effect it has, and whether you live or die. (p. 34-35)

The mafia are never very far away — to the fore in some stories, in the background in others — and we see how people have grown accustomed to living their lives under this shadow:

Maybe Ricardo was right. Maybe like he said, to avoid asking myself too many questions, I’d stopped taking any notice of what was happening around me, the mountains of rubbish in the street, the murders, the bag snatching, the parking attendant who asks for money even when there’s a meter. I’d got used to keeping my eyes down to avoid trouble, paying so that I could drive my lorry in peace, without them slashing the tyres or breaking the windows. Maybe it was it was like he said but I didn’t want to admit it. (p. 113)

All this might sound rather grim, but some of these stories capture moments of love and longing. In one of my favourite stories from the collection, ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy’, a woman longs to spend a Sunday with her husband but is unable to because her man can only find work in Rome. He returns on a weekly basis, but always Tuesdays, never at the weekend:

We’d been living like this for thirteen years. Seeing each other only on Tuesdays. Just so we could pay the mortgage and provide for the kids as they grew. But now the mortgage was almost entirely paid off. And the kids were grown. They were working now, making a living for themselves. I know there’s never enough money. But I could look for a job. Anything. Just as long as he came home in the evening and slept in our bed. Just as long as we could spend one Sunday together every now and again. Go for a stroll somewhere, without counting the hours, without feeling that time was slipping through our fingers. A Sunday together like everybody else. (p. 50)

Longo is a critically-acclaimed writer of short stories as well as pieces for the theatre, radio and cinema. When he isn’t writing, Longo works as a pizza-maker in the city of Naples and he draws on his understanding of the city to great effect in this collection. He takes us through the backstreets and clubs of the city, into the homes of its inhabitants and in doing so gives us a real sense of the place, its culture and social landscape. Knives and guns seem common place here and it’s an environment where kids and teenagers often have to grow up ahead of their time to survive.

Stu has already talked about how this collection illustrates what great short stories can do; they give us a slice of the world as we glimpse people for the briefest of moments. One of the things I liked about these stories was their directness and raw honesty. Longo’s prose is quite stripped back but he quickly creates a sense of tension and atmosphere as he pulls us into these individuals’ lives.

I also liked the shifts in tone, mood and pace across the stories. We experience flashes of violence, situations with a pulsating sense of urgency, but there are times when the pace shifts down a gear as characters reflect on their regrets, their hopes and fears.

One of the reasons I wanted to get involved in shadowing the IFFP was to discover exciting examples of world-lit with a real sense of place, fiction that vividly captures the voice and the essence of a specific location and/or culture. And that exactly what Ten delivers.

Ten is one of three collections of short stories longlisted for this year’s IFFP. The other collections are Revenge by Yoko Ogawa and The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim (and one could also argue that Andrei Makine’s Brief Loves That Live Forever reads as a series of interlinked stories). As for Ten’s chances in the IFFP, I’m at the halfway point in reading the longlist so it’s a little difficult to tell at this stage…but it’s an excellent collection of stories and one which I’m very glad to have discovered.

Other members of the IFFP shadow group have also reviewed this collection: Stu, Bellezza, Tony Malone and Tony Messenger – just click on the links to read their thoughts. This review was originally published as a guest post on Stu’s blog (20th March 2014) and Stu has kindly granted his permission for me to republish it here.

Ten is published in the UK by Harvill Secker.

Source: personal copy.

The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon, translated from the Arabic by the author

I’ve been reading this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist (along with a group of book bloggers chaired by Stu) and this post covers my thoughts on one of the longlisted titles.

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The Corpse Washer is narrated by Jawad, the youngest son from a Shi’ite family living in Baghdad. Jawad’s father (like his father before him) washes and shrouds corpses prior to burial and he expects his youngest son to learn this time-honoured ritual in order to continue the family’s calling. At an early stage in the novel, we follow the young Jawad as his father takes him to the mghaysil (washhouse) for the first time to learn the basics of the trade. Jawad’s first task is to observe his father and Hammoudy (his father’s assistant) as they attend to the ritual of cleansing and shrouding bodies. In an extended section covering several pages, Antoon describes Jawad’s introduction to the mghaysil with grace and humanity:

It was a bit smaller than I had imagined it. The scents of lotus and camphor wafted through the air, and I felt the humidity seeping into my skin. He closed the door behind us and went inside ahead of me. The first object that struck my eyes after we crossed the hallway and entered the main room was the marble bench on which the dead were washed. Its northern part, where their heads would rest, was slightly elevated so that the water could flow down. The mghaysil was more than six decades old, and many generations of our family had worked in it, including my grandfather, who had died before I was born. (pgs. 14-15)

As the young Jawad grows up, he becomes reluctant to continue the family’s vocation. He has a talent for art, aspires to be an artist and chooses instead to study at Baghdad’s Academy of Fine Arts. But events in Baghdad intervene and impinge on his dreams; years of economic sanctions under Saddam Hussein’s regime, followed by the American invasion and occupation of Iraq take their toll:

After weeks of bombing we woke up one morning to find the sky pitch black. The smoke from the torched oil wells in Kuwait had obliterated the sky. Black rain fell afterward, colouring everything with soot as if forecasting what would befall us later. (pg. 61)

Jawad feels trapped in a place where ‘even the statues are too terrified to sleep at night lest they wake up as ruins’. His father dies (along with his brother who is killed in the Iran-Iraq war) and it becomes virtually impossible for him to find alternative work, or to leave Iraq for the matter. As the casualties of the Iraq War continue to mount, Jawad returns to the mghaysil to maintain the ritual of washing and shrouding. Death is a dominant presence in the narrative, and our protagonist seems unable to escape its shadow:

Death is not content with what it takes from me in my waking hours, it insists on haunting me even in my sleep. Isn’t it enough that I toil all day tending to its eternal guests, preparing them to sleep in its lap? Is death punishing me because I thought I could escape its clutches? If my father were still alive he would mock my silly thoughts. He would dismiss all this as infantile, unbecoming to a man. Didn’t he spend a lifetime doing his job day after day, never once complaining of death? But death back then was timid and more measured than today. (pg. 3)

Antoon augments this effect by showing us how a combination of mind-numbing insomnia and horrific nightmares haunt Jawad by night. These distressing dreams punctuate the narrative, and in this example he’s visited by and old man with long white hair and a long white beard – once again, death is a recurring theme: 

Wake up, Jawad, and write down all the names! I think it very odd that he knows my name. I look at his eyes. They are a strange sky-blue colour, set deep into his eye sockets. His face is laced with wrinkles as if he were hundreds of years old. I ask him flatly: Who are you? What names? He smiles: You don’t recognise me? Get a pen and paper and write down all the names. Don’t forget a single name. They are the names of those whose souls I will pluck tomorrow and whose bodies I will leave for you to purify. (pg. 26)

The Corpse Washer is a powerful and very moving book. The narrative’s timeline moves backwards and forwards as Antoon shows us snapshots of key moments in Jawad’s life, almost like a series of vignettes. It’s a story of a young man’s choices in life, his dreams and ambitions and his family’s expectations. And it gives us an insight into the pain and sorrow of living with the inevitable death and destruction that come with war.

The Corpse Washer certainly deserves its place in the IFFP longlist; I particularly liked Antoon’s portrayal of Jawad’s relationship with his father and the scenes set in the mghaysil (which has the calm atmosphere of a haven within the tumultuous city). As with many of the books I’ve read this year, it took me to a different place, another world.

Other members of the IFFP shadow group have also reviewed this book: Stu, Tony Malone and Tony Messenger – just click on the links to read their thoughts. This post was originally published as a guest post on Tony Messenger’s blog (20th April 2014) and Tony has kindly granted his permission for me to republish it here.

The Corpse Washer is published in the UK by Yale University Press.

Source: library copy.