The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ L.P. Hartley’s now proverbial observation at the start of The Go-Between (1953) functions as a statement of fact and a warning. The writer who wishes to traverse the terrain between a nation’s present and its past must navigate a minefield – linguistic, cultural, and historical. Therefore, when you attempt to navigate not only across time but across nations – say, Angola in 1986, Hiroshima in 1952, France in 1855 – the exercise is fraught with danger. But this is the ambitious task that Kyra Giorgi has set herself in her first book of fiction, The Circle and the Equator, a collection of thirteen short stories.
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