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Under Pressure Reviews

Under Pressure by Faruk Sehic

Under Pressure

Faruk Sehic

Score pending

1 review

Category: Fiction, Adventure
Imprint: Istros Books
Publisher: Istros Books
Publication date: 28 May 2019
ISBN: 9781912545025

With this collection of brutal and heart-wrenching stories, the Bosnian writer Faruk Sehic secured his reputation as one of the greatest writers to emerge from the region. A war veteran and a poet, Sehic combines beauty and horror to seduce and surprise the reader.

2 stars out of 5
Houman Barekat
21 Jun 2019

"A former soldier captures the brute ugliness of conflict, but the English translation feels overcooked"

The prose is lively and fearless, but the narrative voice, with its distinct nod to the louche swagger of Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller, feels decidedly secondhand. The translator, Mirza Purić, has sought to render Šehić’s dialogue in an approximation of English working-class diction, for added realism. The execution is a little overcooked: a conspicuous superabundance of colloquialisms such as “well dodgy”, “yonks ago” and “bint”, combined with a preponderance of studiously dropped consonants and aitches (“’E’s not even a ’uman bein’ any more”), lends the speech a parodic quality redolent of the early days of Jamie Oliver. Rendering the vernacular with subtlety and conviction is the holy grail of literary translation; Purić doesn’t quite pull it off, but he is in good company.