Thursday, August 11, 2016

A review of Mingarelli's "A Meal in Winter"

I've begun reviewing books and of course I have a special desire to review fiction in translation. In this case, the book in question was originally written in French, not Italian, but no matter. It 's stunning.

Here's an excerpt of the review for Cleaver magazine. To read the rest, click the link below.

by Hubert Mingarelli
translated by Sam Taylor
The New Press, 138 pages
reviewed by Jeanne Bonner
A Meal in Winter by French author Hubert Mingarelli is a subtle book that quietly but methodically stalks the reader’s sympathies. It does so through a beautiful, spare prose style that begins with the first line: “They had rung the iron gong outside, and it was still echoing, at first for real in the courtyard, and then, for a longer time, inside our heads.” This is lovely writing (deftly rendered from the French by translator Sam Taylor, himself a novelist)—yet a bit ominous, like something that can’t be escaped. Later, setting the scene for the winter’s walk that takes up much of the first part of the narrative, he writes: “A pale sun hung in the sky, as distant and useless, it seemed to us, as a coin trapped under thick ice.” Trapped. What is trapped? Or who?
Read the rest of the review here. Then please read the book!

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