Writer, editor, reviewer

Posts for Tag : literature

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The Riveter magazine – Polish writing 0

To celebrate The London Book Fair 2017 Poland Market Focus, the European Literature Network launched its very first print magazine, The Riveter. Born out of the Network’s monthly #Riveting Reviews and with much help from a range of knowledgeable and discerning contributors, the magazine is guest edited by Deborah Levy, with a cover illustration by Chris Riddell.

I had the honour to edit the magazine, in collaboration with Rosie Goldsmith, and contributing editors, Anna Blasiak and Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

 

I also reviewed for the magazine what in my view is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century – Wiesław Myśliwski’s Stone Upon Stone.

With more content than we could fit into the forty pages of the print publication, we focused the European Literature Network’s March #Riveting Reviews on Polish writing too. I edited these and wrote a companion review of Myśliwski’s award-winning A Treatise on Shelling Beans.

 

 

 

 

The Riveter, Edition One, March 2017, is supported by The London Book Fair, the British Council and the Polish Cultural Institute, and will be available at Polish literature events throughout 2017. The European Literature Network will also make a pdf of the expanded magazine available to download at the end of March.

 

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European Literature Days reviews for Elit 0

European Literature Days is an annual festival held in the Austrian town of Spitz. Organised by the Elit, Literaturhaus Europa, the 2016 festival’s them was migration.

As part of the festival, I wrote two reviews: one of Tim Parks’ novel, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, the other of From the Ruins of Empire, Pankaj Mishra’s re-examination of Asia’s response to colonialism.

 

 

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Iceland Noir – Iceland’s Festival of Crime Fiction 0

In November, I travelled to Reykjavík with Karen Sullivan and a host of Orenda authors for Iceland Noir – a crime fiction festival organised by two of those authors and an Orenda translator, among others.

Attended by crime fiction greats such as Val McDermid (who gave the keynote speech) Ann Cleeves and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, the three days of talks were intriguing – as was my first visit to the North Atlantic island.

My feature piece about the festival was published on  ELit Literature House Europe and on the European Literature Network:

Iceland Noir – Iceland’s Festival of Crime Fiction by West Camel

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An Interview with Translator Don Bartlett 0

In September my interview with Norwegian < English translator, Don Bartlett was published on the  ELit Literature House Europe website and the European Literature Network.

I have worked with Don on his translations of Gunnar Staalesen’s crime novels for Orenda Books; and in preparation for the interview, I took my first plunge into Karl Ove Knausgaard’s remarkable work.

The result was a comparison between two contemporary greats of Norwegian literature. The results were fascinating.

An interview with translator Don Bartlett by West Camel

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#Riveting Reviews and Other Dutch Delights 0

In January I was once again editor of the European Literature Network’s monthly Riveting Reviews.

January’s  reviews were devoted to Dutch Literature. Celebrating #HighImpactAllStars – the Network’s evening of literature from the Low Countries, ably hosted, as always by Rosie Goldsmith – alongside Dutch specialist Aimee Hardy, I commissioned and edited reviews of new titles in English from Herman Koch, Gerard Reve, Esther Gerritsen, and others. I also wrote a feature review of The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories. 

 

 

 

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Orenda Update – spring 2017 titles 0

Orenda Books goes from strength to strength.

Over the past few months I’ve worked on a selection of titles from Orenda’s crime and literary fiction list for spring 2017.

Some of my highlights include:

Sealskin by Su Bristow.

A retelling of the selkie myth, Sealskin is a beautifully lyrical and delicately nuanced novel about redemption, community and the blurred lines between magic and the everyday.

 

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski:

Inspired by the true-crime podcast investigation Serial, Six Stories is part transcript, part tone poem, part crime thriller. Following an investigative journalist exploring a decades-old death at an outward-bound centre, six individuals give their six different and at times conflicting versions of the same story – a hugely original, and deeply sinister debut.

 

I also worked on Deep Down Dead, a debut action thriller from crime-fiction blogger Steph Broadribb, AKA CrimeThrillerGirl. If the cover says movie, there’s a reason … one of the most cinematic books I’ve ever edited.

 

I worked closely with Matt Johnson on Deadly Game, the fast-paced, complex sequel to his debut, Wicked Game. Like the first book, this reeks of authenticity, as you’d expect from an ex-SAS officer.

 

Another of my detailed editing jobs was on the third part in Paul E Hardisty’s Claymore Straker trilogy, Reconciliation for the Dead, which offers a shocking insight into South Africa’s apartheid years. Paul’s prose is at its most lyrical, as he takes us back to the Angolan war of the 1980s and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of the 1990s.