[published on Bandit Fiction, 24/10/2021] Finishing Zorrie and finding out, through his acknowledgements section, that Laird Hunt kept a copy of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves on hand throughout the writing process is the least surprising part of a novel that, generally, does not try very hard to surprise you. Zorrie is a gentle book, or at least is trying to be.Continue reading “Review: “Zorrie” by Laird Hunt”
[published on Bandit Fiction, 05/07/2021] How do you fill the gaps where no words exist? That’s the question at the heart of What Willow Says, a novel which follows the interactions of a deaf granddaughter and her grandmother as the two connect over their shared love of nature. [Read more]
(published 24/05/2021 on Bandit Fiction) With offices opening up and the end of the Work-From-Home year in sight, there might never have been a more relevant book to read than PowerPoint Eulogy, one of Fly on the Wall Press’s latest publications in its “Shorts” series, and artist Mark Wilson’s first poetry pamphlet. Then again, thereContinue reading “Review: “Powerpoint Eulogy” by Mark Wilson”
(published 21/04/2021) The central problem at the core of all pamphlets is space. There’s so little time to build up to anything of substance that many err on the side of caution, opting to tackle a tiny concept in great depth. In Pat Edwards’ Only Blood, however, the subject is the greatest and longest: life,Continue reading “Zoë Wells on Pat Edwards and Kittie Belltree”
(published by Ink, Sweat and Tears 14/04/2021) Parallel translations always bring a certain kind of joy. I have fond memories of reading Pablo Neruda for the first time, original text on the left, English translation on the right. Feeling out the Spanish sounds out loud with no understanding, then checking the following page and findingContinue reading “Mither Tongue – A love letter to translation”
(published 15/03/2021) The old man and the young boy, struggling to make their way through an unforgiving environment. It’s a story you’ve heard before, likely read and enjoyed before, but in Ryan Dennis’s debut, The Beasts They Turned Away, everything familiar is made eerily different. [Read in full on Bandit Fiction]
(published 18/01/2021) There’s something unnerving about historical fiction that feels like it could have played out just the same today. Though set in a tumultuous Nigeria in the 1980s, Ogadinma’s themes are sadly, infuriatingly, entirely too relevant today. After a rape turns into an unwanted pregnancy, which in turn is resolved with a dangerous andContinue reading “Review: Ogadinma Or, Everything Will Be All Right by Ukamaka Olisakwe”
(published May 2020) Review of The Filthy Quiet by Kate Noakes and In Passing by Anna Lewis in Poetry Wales. Read more in Poetry Wales.
[originally published in Kamena Magazine] With the polar vortex in full swing stateside and temperatures in the UK looking not dissimilar to my current bank balance, the release of Caroline Lea’s Icelandic ghost story/murder mystery, The Glass Woman, could not have come at a better time.