On Linguistic and Cultural Desires

On Linguistic and Cultural Desires

This post was first written in October 2017, and was inspired by a Nordic literature event at the Southbank Centre in London. In October 2017, I went to an event at the Southbank Centre called ‘Dangerous Desires’, featuring Norwegian writer Hanne Ørstavik and Finnish writers Kati Hiekkapelto and Jussi Valtonen. Part of the Nordic Matters series of events that has been taking place all year, and part of the annual Southbank Literature Festival too, this particular panel talk looked at…

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On Becoming A Translator

On Becoming A Translator

I first wrote this post in 2015, after completing my MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. Nearly four years on, I feel this article may still be of some relevance today, so I am sharing it once again on my new website in the hope that my experiences might prove useful or inspiring to someone out there! After just over eighteen months of working in a translation agency, I decided to shift my focus to literary…

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Review of ‘The Darkness’ by Ragnar Jónasson

Review of ‘The Darkness’ by Ragnar Jónasson

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson (translated by Victoria Cribb) is a gripping crime novel set in Iceland, in and around Reykjavik. Ragnar Jónasson has a great talent for transporting his readers to Iceland, using the weather and landscape to set the scene, and this book does not disappoint. His protagonist Hulda is a 64-year-old detective who has suffered from sexism within the force throughout her career, and is now being pushed out ahead of retirement to make way for younger…

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Review of ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins

Review of ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins

I picked up Into the Water not knowing quite what to expect – I loved The Girl on the Train, but was aware that many of the Amazon reviews didn’t rate this one quite as highly. Hawkins’ second novel tells the story of sisters Jules and Nel, who have a complicated relationship. Just days after Jules ignores Nel’s phone call, Nel turns up dead in the (fairly creepy) village in which they both grew up. Jules reluctantly goes back to…

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Review of ‘The Guilty One’ by Lisa Ballantyne

Review of ‘The Guilty One’ by Lisa Ballantyne

The Guilty One is a gripping and emotional read. It has a duel timeline narrative and is set both in the present day as solicitor Daniel takes on a new case, defending an eleven-year-old boy accused of murder, and in the past as flashbacks tell of Danny’s own troubled past and difficult childhood. Danny has to focus on saving the young Sebastian’s future whilst facing his own memories and coming to terms with his complicated relationship with Minnie, the woman…

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The Guest

The Guest

Charlotte put down her tea and slowly got to her feet at the sound of the doorbell. She had been expecting it, but her heart still raced a little when it rang. She could see a dark shape through the door as she made her way through the dim hallway to let the man in. David smiled warmly at Charlotte as he stepped inside and took off his shoes. He slipped them neatly into the rack next to her own…

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Secret Agent

Secret Agent

The bell rings for break time, the shrill sound quickly being swallowed up by the even shriller shrieks of the children as they dash outside, dragging on their coats as they run to escape the confines of the classroom. Only one remains. Shoulders hunched, Tim slopes over to the corner where he crouches down on a blue beanbag and picks up his favourite book. It’s the story of a spy from the Second World War who helped bring down a…

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Word Association Game

Word Association Game

‘Let’s play our little game.’ Carmen shuddered as the smooth voice washed over her, turning her heart to ice. She was sitting on the hard-backed chair in his living room, where he liked her to spend the afternoons while he sat in the armchair opposite, occasionally pacing up and down in front of her. She pressed her knees together and hunched over, trying to make herself as small and insignificant as possible. But as he smiled down at her, he…

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