Probably the Russian literature event of the year in the English-speaking world has been the publication of the English translation of Vasily Grossman’s “Stalingrad,” the first part of his two-part series about the battle of Stalingrad that concludes with “Life and Fate.” Me reading “Life and Fate” for my PhD comps while camping out on […]Read more "“Stalingrad” by Vasily Grossman, Translated by Robert Chandler"
The Wings to Fly Lisa Marie Gabriel Of all the romantic icons of the early 20th century, pioneering aviatrixes (aviatrices??) are some of the most romantic, at least in my opinion. So that, combined with my interest in reading a broad sampling of the war-related writing that’s currently being putting out, meant I had to […]Read more "“The Wings to Fly” by Lisa Marie Gabriel"
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand In “Unbroken,” Laura Hillenbrand returns to tell another story (after “Seabiscuit”) of someone who has been bloodied by adversity, but not broken by it. Louie Zamperini was one of the world’s hottest track stars, breaking record after record and running in the 1936 Olympics. Then WWII broke out, and he ended up […]Read more "“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand"
Cross of Iron Willi Heinrich I have to admit that I read this book a long time ago, so perhaps it isn’t as good as I remember. But as I remember, it is incredible, a true classic of combat writing, so I thought I’d write a review of it for German Literature Month 2017. […]Read more "“Cross of Iron” by Willi Heinrich for #GermanLiteratureMonth"
All Soldiers Run Away Andy Owen My review of “All Soldiers Run Away,” which was released today, is below. You can read my very interesting interview with Andy Owen about writing the book and about war, literature, and PTSD here and my review of his novel “East of Coker” here. Some soldiers are heroic. But […]Read more "“All Soldiers Run Away” by Andy Owen"
East of Coker Andy Owen In “East of Coker,” the lives of two different generations intertwine: Arthur, a veteran of WWII, befriends a soldier returned from Iraq who is at the same rehab center. Both men are separated from the women they love, and alienated from society around them, Arthur by his age and the […]Read more "“East of Coker” by Andy Owen"
In “The Hideout,” a Czech engineer writes letters to his wife, Hanichka, from his hiding place in occupied France. In them, he describes how he went to Paris in 1939 without her knowledge in order to chase after another woman, only to be trapped there when the Nazis, who have taken Czechoslovakia, declare him a […]Read more "“The Hideout” by Egon Hostovsky"
“The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” followed the life of Chye Hoon, a strong-willed Nyonya girl who becomes the matriarch of her mixed-heritage family in early 20th-century Malaysia. “When the Future Comes Too Soon” picks up shortly after where “The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” left off, with the death of Chye Hoon. Now the […]Read more "“When the Future Comes Too Soon” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke"
A fascinating melange of WWII “aviation lit” (to coin a term) and hard sci-fi, with a side of metaphysics and fantasy, “Fata Morgana” is a unique book. It’s not exactly something I would normally read, but I found it extremely interesting nonetheless. Somewhat to my surprise, since I was expecting sci-fi, the book starts off […]Read more "“Fata Morgana” by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney"
In “Wolf Hunt,” the threads of village passions come together as a group sets off on a wolf hunt that serves as a pretext for something even more murderous. Living side-by-side for decades, right through the upheavals of WWII and forced collectivization, has inflamed resentments rather than drawing people together, leading to a violent denouement. […]Read more "“Wolf Hunt” by Ivailo Petrov"