Review: The Elephant’s Foot by M. A. Oliver-Semenov

Published this month, The Elephant’s Foot is M. A. Oliver Semenov’s (Mao) “first and maybe final” poetry collection, filled with the vibrancy and poignancy of life. With poems that depict childhood memories of the narrator’s mother, to Skyping family on birthdays and Christmases, it provokes feelings of nostalgia through distance and time. It explores how memories are eternal and…

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Book Review: Between Here and Knitwear by Chrissie Gittins

Originally published on Wales Arts Review: Between Here and Knitwear by Chrissie Gittins Short stories more often than not present the reader with snapshots of a larger life. Rather than depicting the whole story, they capture moments, while demonstrating the writer’s ability to use language skilfully and economically. Chrissie Gittins’ semi-autobiographical short story collection does just…

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Originally published on Wales Arts Review:

The Maestro, The Magistrate, and The Mathematician by Tendai Huchu

After the success of his debut, The Hairdresser of Harare (2010), Tendai Huchu’s second novel, The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician is a cleverly written, multi-layered narrative about the lives of three Zimbabwean men residing in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is set in the early-to-mid 2000s, with its characters following the political unrest in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe Regime, all the while mapping out new lives in Edinburgh.

The chapters alternatively follow each character’s story; three different novellas are interweaved together. The Magistrate, a middle aged, once well-respected man of law, now trying to adjust to a new life in Edinburgh where his qualifications and titles mean little. While his wife has secured a job, the Magistrate remains without one, straining their relationship, all the while trying to come to terms with a teenage daughter growing up in an alien culture.

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