Boyz II Men

My Fellow Skin

By

Harvill Press 200pp £9.99 (Trans Ina Rilke) order from our bookshop

MY FELLOW SKIN is one of those rare books that you wish were longer than they are, not just a little bit, but double the length, no, three times as long. That said, part of its charm lies in its tantalising brevity; there is just enough to make you hunger for more. On the surface, the coming – of – age story told in the Dutch writer Erwin Mortier’s second novel is simple enough. In three short sections, we see the narrator, Anton Callewin, as a small child, when, as he puts it, ‘the things that scared me were not yet inside me, but around me’; around the age of eleven, when he moves to a new school and his whole inner world starts shifting; and as an eighteen-year-old, on the brink of life but thrown off course by an unexpected event.

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