modern classics

Territory of Light by Yūko Tsushima

Territory of Light is a sparsely written novel divided into twelve chapters, each one capturing a specific moment or period of its unnamed narrator’s life. Our narrator, the mother to a three-year-old, has recently moved into a new apartment as her husband, the father of her daughter, left her for another woman. Territory of Light […]

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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye is an unflinching and deeply harrowing examination of race, colorism, gender, and trauma. Throughout the course of her narrative Toni Morrison captures with painful lucidity the damage inflicted on a black child by a society that equates whiteness with beauty and goodness, and blackness with ugliness and evil.In her introduction to her […]

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The Street by Ann Petry

“A woman living alone didn’t stand much chance.” Ann Petry is a terrific writer. The precise way in which she articulates the thoughts and various state of minds of her characters brought to my mind the writing of Nella Larsen and Edith Wharton. But whereas I could stand the cynicism and tragic finales of Wharton’s […]

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Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

“Everything I could see looked unreal to me; everything I could see made me feel I would never be part of it, never penetrate to the inside, never be taken in.” From the very first page, I was enthralled by Lucy’s deceptively simple narration. To begin with, I was struck by the clarity of her […]

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Abigail by Magda Szabó — book review

“In later years, whenever she dreamed of the fortress and the city the wind would always be present, moving restlessly among human figures obscurely glimpsed in the haze.” Abigail follows fourteen-year-old Gina Vitay’s time as a Matula student in the months leading to the German occupation of Hungary. First published fifty years ago, its English […]

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