Why all Men (and Women) Should Read This – Or, How to Avoid the Authenticity Trap, Holly McNish “Nobody Told Me” (Review)

Gesa Stedman was nearly overwhelmed by the quality of the poetry, the potential to move her readers, as well as the topic of Holly McNish`s award-winning poetry collection and memoir “Nobody Told Me”. All men should read this. Holly McNish’s poetry will teach them things nobody tells you in advance, […] Read more

Beatlebone by Kevin Barry – Experimental Fiction on an Irish Island

Gesa Stedman enjoys Kevin Barry’s prize-winning novel Beatlebone which follows John Lennon’s trip to County Mayo during a creative crisis. All the reviews printed on the back of the book were right for once: Beatlebone is an exceptional novel. It is formally challenging but it is nevertheless possible to climb […] Read more

The Arrogance of the “Hybrid” Intellectual – A Review of Broken German by Tomer Gardi

Gesa Stedman has little patience for a recent publication written in ‘migrant’s German’, attempting to playfully overcome the current German angst about too many refugees and the cultural and social changes these might bring. A series of urban vignettes centring on Radili and his friends with different ‘multicultural’ backgrounds as […] Read more

Haunted by a Powerful Novel: Evie Wyld’s “All The Birds, Singing”

With her second novel, writer and bookshop owner Evie Wyld won three awards, the Miles Franklin Award, the Encore Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Gesa Stedman reviews the powerful and haunting All the Birds, Singing and hopes for more from this talented writer. All the Birds, Singing, will […] Read more

“A Counter-History of Crime Fiction” by Maurizio Ascari – Rediscovering the Origins of a Genre

Today, Katarina Živković, one of our students at the Centre for British Studies in Berlin, reviews Maurizio Ascari’s A Counter-History of Crime Fiction and tells us why it captured her. While doing research for a university paper, I happened to stumble upon a slender little volume that claimed to provide […] Read more

Reader’s Report: Short Reviews of Recent and Not So Recent Novels

Looking for something to read for the holidays? Gesa Stedman reviews a number of books by Aminatta Forna, Taiye Selasi, Edna O’Brien, and Jenny Offill. Jenny Offill’s heartbreaking, brilliant, and formally challenging short novel Dept. of Speculation (Granta Books, 2014) is a disturbing account of what happens to a relationship […] Read more