Magda Szabo

Magda Szabó (October 5, 1917 – November 19, 2007) was a Hungarian writer. She graduated from the University of Debrecen. She worked as a teacher of Latin and of Hungarian, and later as a civil servant at the Ministry of Religion and Education, from where she was dismissed in 1949, for political reasons. From 1949 to 1956, her books…

Elizabeth Hardwick

Elizabeth Hardwick (July 27, 1916 – December 2, 2007) was an American literary critic and writer. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1939, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1947. Along with Robert Lowell, Jason Epstein, Barbara Epstein, and Robert B. Silvers, Hardwick established The New York Review of Books. She later taught at Barnard College…

There you go again, narrating through a prism of pain

Dear Tatiana, Your novel The House in Smyrna (tr. Alison Entrekin, 2015; originally published in Portuguese in 2007) was a puzzling read for me. And not a confortable one – which, I may add, I generally take as a good reading experience, like a cup of strong coffee, served without sugar and very hot, and drunk…

Tatiana Salem Levy

Tatiana Salem Levy (1979) is a Brazilian writer. She was born in Portugal, while her parents were in exile, during the Brazilian dictatorship. Tatiana is of Jewish-Turkish descent. She studied literature at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, and holds a PhD in Literature. Awards Winner of…

and the jungle passed in on them, seeking to cover them up

Dear Rose, Your novel The World My Wilderness (1950) is a powerful depiction of the way the Second World War ravaged people’s physical, emotional and moral landscapes. Wandering from the South of France to Scotland, and mainly set in the Blitz-ruined London, during the Summer of 1946, the novel follows the seventeen-year-old Barbary, when she is sent…

Rose Macaulay

Emilie Rose Macaulay (1 August 1881 – 30 October 1958) was an English writer. She studied at Oxford High School for Girls and at Somerville College at Oxford University. During World War I, Rose worked in the British Propaganda Department, then as a nurse, and later as a civil servant in the War Office. She had…

wade/ through black jade/of the crow-blue mussel-shells

Dear Adriana, As in your previous books, Crow Blue (2013, tr. Alison Entrekin, originally published in Portuguese in 2010) also depicts  a journey, through which the protagonists – unable to move beyond painful events in the past – are led to undertake some kind of personal rite of passage. After losing her mother at the age…

Antonia White

Antonia White (born Eirene Botting; 1 March 1899, London – 10 April 1980) was a British writer. She attended St. Paul’s Girls’ School, but later left school, and unsuccessfully attempted to become an actress. She then began writing for magazines and worked in advertising, as well as copywriter and BBC translator. By the age of 30, she…

For she had a great variety of selves to call upon,

My dear, dearest Ginny, What stroke me the most in Orlando (1928) was the fact that you were once again so unabashedly bold – for having written a fictional novel and called it a biography; for having invented a life around a woman you had an affair with; ultimately, for having played with her body, making its…