news | Friday February 13, 2015

Book Review: Birth of a Bridge in the Bull Calf

The Bull Calf has recently published a review by Gediminas Dainius, in Issue #5.1, of Maylis de Kerangal’s 2014 novel, Birth of a Bridge (translated by Jessica Moore). Birth of a Bridge is a sweeping novel in which a dozen characters gather with a throng of workers to build a massive bridge somewhere in a mythical California.

Our favourite parts of the review are here:

The author is at her best when the metaphoric bridges that proliferate in the novel are understated, occurring organically and without fanfare. … de Kerangal uses the bridge motif in interpersonal moments like these to make some of the questions surrounding new connections more tangible, if no less easily answerable.

PEN America Translation Award winner Jessica Moore does an admirable job in keeping a strong sense of de Kerangal’s style intact. … ambitious prose that ebbs and flows in long, graceful sentences interspersed with shorter, punchier ones. _Birth of a Bridge_’s vocabulary is extensive, making free use of both colloquial and more esoteric terms and thus reflecting the diversity present in the narrative. …

de Kerangal refrains from taking a black or white stance concerning the issue of globalization, but instead uses the narrative to invite the reader to consider the complex environmental, social, and economical factors at play. … a relevant novel that leaves the reader with few concrete answers, but artfully poses a number of questions worthy of attention.

Read the full review here.

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