Luda (Grant Morrison) / The Postcard (Anne Berest) – Book Review

We take a look at two of the newest releases from Europa Editions.

Luda (Grant Morrison)

Grant Morrison is no stranger to high-concept conceits, whether that’s their work on the X-Men comics, or their genre-spanning graphic novel Flex Mentallo. This time around Morrison has turned their hand to a novel, producing the garish and dazzling Luda.

Luda is a hallucinogenic treat of a work, following a troop of drag performers in an alternate-version of Glasgow (Gasglow, natch) as a serial killer begins to strike them down, all while the diva Luci begins to feel threatened to by newcomer Luda. This is All About Eve by way of La Cage aux Folles while during an illicit, Wonderland-style acid trip, and Morrison relishes in crafting such a giddily intoxicating tale that balances between whodunnit, character exploration, and bawdy lucid dream.

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Threatening to tip the many plates it keeps spinning, Luda is certainly overly-long and messy, but it’s eager, humanist heart shines through. Anchored by one of the most outlandish and compelling characters unveiled all year, Luda is a serenade to the queer community, finding and fighting for your space, and living for the applause, applause, applause…

Luda is out on 5th October from Europa Editions.

The Postcard (Anne Berest)

Autobiographical novels are a tricky beast to pin down, despite their history (see Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women or Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar for example), but newer tomes more than prove their mettle. The Postcard, written by acclaimed French writer Anne Berest in her first English-language work (translated by Tina Kover), is an example of this, using auto-fiction techniques to help investigate her family’s traumatic past.

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The Postcard explores Berest’s family following the arrival of a mysterious postcard nearly twenty years prior that lists the family members who perished in the Holocaust decades ago. The writing is propulsive and wrenching, and deeply, painfully compassionate, winding back the years to trace the family’s origins, even as we know where a lot of them will, sadly, end their journeys.

Berest is a talented writer, able to engage the reader and evoke pathos and deep empathy, enfolding them into a poignant tale about grief, trauma, and healing. Family lies at the core of The Postcard and its efforts to shine a light on the darkest recesses of human history; it’s appropriate therefore that Berest’s writing feels positively luminous as a result.

The Postcard is out on 5th October from Europa Editions.

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