Viewing entries tagged
Riverhead

Olga Tokarczuk’s <i>Flights</i>

Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights

Reviewed by Jonathan Wlodarski

“Whenever I set off on any sort of journey I fall off the radar. I think there are a lot of people like me. Who aren’t around, who’ve disappeared. They show up all of a sudden in the arrivals terminal and start to exist when the immigrations officers stamp their passport, or when the polite receptionist at whatever hotel hands over their key.” The woman speaking, perpetually traveling, is one of many voices animating the one hundred sixteen parts of Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. These pieces build to something off the radar, a far cry from novels or short story collections in the conventional sense. If anything, they’re like people in transit, abstractions shot through with alarmingly distinctive features, demanding to be recognized in order to exist: the woman walking through the airport in rainboots, the child clutching a stuffed iguana on the bus. Like these people, the accumulation of fragments in Flights invites new perspectives and startling revelations…

Samanta Schweblin's <br><i>Fever Dream</i>

Samanta Schweblin's
Fever Dream

Reviewed by Ray Barker

The tautness and concision of Samanta Schweblin's short unsettling novel Fever Dream is evident even from its cryptic opening sentence: They’re like worms. These words are spoken to Amanda, a grown woman who is dying, by David, a child at her side in an anonymous hospital. The narrative is so stripped of identifying information—time, location, sentiment—that it feels, at moments, like a closet drama. David and Amanda’s dialogue forms and drives the narrative of this tense, dark domestic tale—equal parts fable and fantasy, dream and horrific yet elusive nightmare...