23 August 2022
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
and to Midas pr for the invitation to the blog tour
The coming of age story of an award-winning translator, Homesick is about learning to love language in its many forms, healing through words and the promises and perils of empathy and sisterhood.
Sisters Amy and Zoe grow up in Oklahoma where they are home schooled for an unexpected reason: Zoe suffers from debilitating and mysterious seizures, spending her childhood in hospitals as she undergoes surgeries. Meanwhile, Amy flourishes intellectually, showing an innate ability to glean a world beyond the troubles in her home life, exploring that world through languages first. Amy's first love appears in the form of her Russian tutor Sasha, but when she enters university at the age of 15 her life changes drastically and with tragic results.
📖 My Review..
Homesick is an unusual book, quietly introspective and cleverly arranged in short, thought provoking chapters, some little more than vignettes, which allow the story of sisters, Amy and Zoe to evolve at entirely its own pace. Powerfully evoking the special relationship between sisters author Jennifer Croft uses this memoir to explore the connection she had with her sister, the consequences of this relationship resonates throughout the book.
Reading like fiction but with its heart very much placed in memories, this coming of age memoir is beautifully and succinctly written and by keeping the dialogue in the third person it allows the author to remove herself emotionally whilst at the same time recounting her difficult growing up in Oklahoma with academic parents and the effect that her sister's diagnosis of a benign brain tumour had on all their lives going forward.
Homesick is easily read over the space of an afternoon but that doesn't mean it is light on content, far from it, as I found much to peruse and ponder over in the course of the book and all credit to the author for presenting this memoir in such a contemplative and rather different sort of way.
Jennifer Croft won a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship for her novel Amadou, the 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for her illustrated memoir Homesick and the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her translation from Polish of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. She is also the author of Serpientes y escaleras and Notes on Postcards, as well as the translator of Federico Falco’s A Perfect Cemetery, Romina Paula’s August, Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay, Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob, Sylvia Molloy’s Dislocations, and Sebastián Martínez Daniell’s Two Sherpas. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Northwestern University.
For Charco Press, she has translated Federico Falco's A Perfect Cemetery (2021), Sylvia Molloy's Dislocations (forthcoming 2022), and Sebastián Martínez Daniell’s Two Sherpas (forthcoming 2023).
Twitter @jenniferlcroft #Homesick