George Szirtes

Tricksy Grace

Katerina Brac

By

Faber 47pp £3.95 order from our bookshop

The Berlin Wall Café

By

Blackstaff Press 70pp £4.95 order from our bookshop

The Lame Waltzer

By

Allison & Busby 62pp £4 order from our bookshop

The cover of Christopher Reid’s Katerina Brac shows a creased passport-sized photograph of a young woman dressed in the stern fashion of thirty years ago. She is holding a cigarette and wearing unflattering dark glasses which give her an insect look, as if she were caught in an early stage of Kafkaian metamorphosis. She is a sum of received ideas and stage properties. The question to be asked about the contents of the book itself is how far it escapes being a more sophisticated version of the same thing, for Katerina Brac is an invention. Reid has written her poems for her. They are supposed to be translations from some (possibly Slavic) original, and that is precisely what they sound like – very good translations, with just the right heaviness in the right places, a heaviness hinting at a significance not quite conveyed.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,