Author Archive

The Death of a Beekeeper

When I get home, I look at the cover of the book—it’s a black and white photograph of a landscape that’s very typically Swedish: the flat, well worn rocks extend out to the sea; a spit of land fringed with birches and pines juts out into the water. It’s a calm scene and now that I have been lulled into stillness, images and thoughts that have been buried beneath layers of noise and activity float up into my mind’s eye.

My Seductive Cuba

A few pages into the book, there’s a photo of a dangerously handsome man. His name is Giordano and he’s one of Lizra’s dance teachers. In Cuba, she tells us, there are no boundaries between people. She illustrates this social construct through a story about how she and Giordano tease each other in class. I picture them in a dance studio. It’s a room with high ceilings…

Stay Close, Little Ghost

In the last few breaths of his book, Serang’s voice arrests me. Until now, I’ve been aware of his adeptness at playing with the artifice of fantasy and fairy tale. He employs the imagery that these storytelling forms invite him to use but it’s when he allows this structure to fall away that his voice transforms…

Reviewer Spotlight: Viveca Mellegard

The formula for the perfect day is: Wake up with the sun, swim in cold water, sing and stretch and pick blueberries and wild strawberries and eat them with yogurt. Read something that fills me with hope. Write from the best part of myself. Go for a walk with a friend I will know for the rest of my life. Bake something. Rest in a hammock. Curl up in someone’s arms…


Romantic love in German films is painful, and often fatal. French love is passionate, angry, and jealous. American love is cute and funny. The syntax of these fantasies is so hardwired in our brains that we’ve forgotten how to use our senses to truly observe love. We’ve forgotten how to read our interactions with others in a way that can allow us to understand what’s actually going on.

Just Kids

This book makes me cry a lot. I sit on the bus reading it and have to turn my face to the sun so that I can pretend my moist eyes are from the sneezing that the bright light invites. I’m moved to the core by Patti’s devotion for Robert and Robert’s for Patti. It’s not just that they love each other unconditionally but that this love never wanes.

Hector and the Search for Happiness

It was November and when I left Osaka it was warm and sunny. As the train meandered up the mountains to the south, snow began to fall. By the time I reached Koyasan and realised that I was the only person getting off the train, deep snow…


I find myself enjoying the rhythm of the words and the familiarity of the journey, as though I’m crossing the Urals with him, boarding a Dutch smuggler’s ship to the western coast of Japan. It’s what I imagine it’s like going to the end of the universe because in the 1800s Japan was…