Take a Bite: The Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology

Ed Garland on fiction that explores contemporary and perennial pressures, but is a little bland in terms of similarity of voice, and is strangely ordered to save the best stories until last

PUBLISHED ON: 24/11/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

Take a Bite presents the top twelve entries in the 2021 Rhys Davies Short Story award, and its introduction promises us fiction that is ‘alive with ch …

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Pain Sluts

Ed Garland enjoys these touching stories of everyday drama, affection and dissociation, some flagged with a cosmic backdrop, others, glimpsed through an uncomfortable aura

PUBLISHED ON: 22/11/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

Before the 1900s, people used to assemble makeshift lamps called sluts. The OED definition offers supporting evidence from Anne Ellis’ Life of an Ordi …

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Dead Relatives

Tim Cooke hails a dark short story collection that is original, thrilling, handling touches of folk horror and difficult subject matter with equal deftness

PUBLISHED ON: 17/11/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

Lucie McKnight Hardy’s debut novel, Water Shall Refuse Them (Dead Ink, 2019), was a slow-burning folk horror set in a small Welsh village during the i …

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The Venetian Legacy

Chris Moss on the latest in a Venetian series comprising part travel guide, part romantic drama, part crime story; here the fare is plentiful and authentic, but domestic bliss takes a nose-dive soon after the inheritance of a house with a gun in it, and La Serenissima turns out to be on the shady side of serene

PUBLISHED ON: 15/11/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

If you like your thrillers to be hard-boiled, noirish, violent, full of damaged cops and psycho crims, and action-packed from the prologue to the post …

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Forms of Exile: Selected Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva

Filip Noubel admires a translation of a prolific Russian poet for whom exile is home

PUBLISHED ON: 08/11/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

Poetry is the place where meaning remains an open question. When engaging with a poem, the reader is offered a rare gift: the freedom to interpret con …

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Inhale / Exile

Shara Atashi hails a vigorous poetry collection, epic in proportions and in theme: the history of war-torn Iraq

PUBLISHED ON: 03/11/21

CATEGORY: Essays, Reviews

Abeer Ameer’s vigorous poetry collection Inhale/Exile is an epic and a storybook in one. Epic, because the single poems are pieces of a whole body, st …

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The History of Wales in Twelve Poems, A Last Respect: The Roland Mathias Prize Anthology of Contemporary Welsh Poetry

Chris Moss on two anthologies which prove that Welsh poetry in English is in robust health

PUBLISHED ON: 01/11/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

The art of the poetry anthology is a competitive arena. You have the celeb selections (Amis on Larkin, Cerys Matthews on her whims), the ‘authoritativ …

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Lord of All the Dead

Michael Stein on a Spanish novel in translation which is autobiographical in the true sense of the word, resisting fantasy and speculation when addressing the unknown facts of the author’s great-uncle, a young victim of the Spanish Civil War

PUBLISHED ON: 07/10/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

Many families have a mythic figure somewhere down the line. Mythic in this context, though, usually means larger than life. They are the relative or a …

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Elaine Morgan: A Life Behind the Screen

Sarah Broughton on how the screen- and science-writer’s modest persona shielded astonishing success and life-long themes of inequality, feminism and left-wing politics

PUBLISHED ON: 07/10/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

In 1990, Elaine Morgan ended her forty-year career as a script writer for television and radio with a piece for Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. She was sevent …

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The End of the Yellow House

Michael Stein on how this surreal and comic novel upends all rules of the mystery, merging it with history, horror and Russian literary art

PUBLISHED ON: 07/10/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

When Chief Superintendent Lepinov’s bloated, battered body is discovered in a well with a padded wooden box placed over his bashed-in head on the open …

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