The City in Crimson Cloak by Aslı Erdogan, Translated from Turkish by Amy Spangler
Soft Skull Press, New York; 256 pp; fiction
One of the most unique and strongest voices of Turkish literature, Aslı Erdoğan is one of my favourite writers. Her autobiographical novel is poetry that hurts and stays with you forever. She takes us through the streets of Rio de Janeiro where we find love, tenderness, violence, genius, madness and more; all at the same time.
The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron, Translated from Hebrew by Steven Cohen
Oneworld Publications, London; 448 pp; fiction
The book truthfully and humorously tells how absurd and complicated life in contemporary Israel can be; how chaos and crises are a natural part of everyday life on such a contradictory piece of land. We follow the lives of various colourful characters who live in an illegal West Bank Jewish settlement neighbouring a Palestinian village. I never read anything quite alike.
The Promise by Damon Galgut
Penguin Random House, UK; 293 pp; fiction
Members of the Swart family whisper us a bitter tale of belonging and discrimination, the latter on many levels. A promise, or rather not keeping it, also becomes a persona of its own. Set in South Africa during the country’s transition out of apartheid, this 2021 Booker Prize winner is melancholic, ironic, beautiful, powerful, masterful. One of my current unforgettable reads.