The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead: a long walk to freedom?

One has to brace oneself before reading The Underground Railroad. Like all books on slavery, this novel painfully recreates the worst acts of violence committed by slavers, slave-owners and slave catchers. After each book on slavery, you think that you've read the worse of what the worst humans are capable of, but then another book pops up … Continue reading The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead: a long walk to freedom?

Atonement, by Ian McEwan: fiction writing, an impossible expiation.

In the midst of a heat wave, during the summer 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony secretly witnesses a scene involving her older sister Cecilia, their childhood friend, Robbie, a fountain and near-nakedness. Unable to understand the signs of this scene, the little girl gives free rein to her wild imagination, convinces herself that she needs to protect her sister … Continue reading Atonement, by Ian McEwan: fiction writing, an impossible expiation.

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee: a family’s story enmeshed in a history of war and racism

The word "Pachinko", in Korean, designates a sort of pinball machine or slot machine and it is hardly incidental if Min Jin Lee chose this word for the title of her 2017 novel. Pachinko is a story in which money, or lack of, occupies a central place; it is also a story about choices: characters defying Fate with bold … Continue reading Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee: a family’s story enmeshed in a history of war and racism