Homesick, by the award-winning translator Jennifer Croft, is a coming-of-age story that includes all the “firsts” readers might expect from a narrative about identity formation: First loss, first love, first foray toward independence.
“It’s a complex portrait of a young Oklahoma woman’s development of a rich and exacting interior life,” Emily Rapp Black said in a review for The New York Times.
“It’s also a visual love letter to family, language and self-understanding, and the myriad ways in which these realms overlap and complicate one another,” said the review.
It added: “Like the writers W. G. Sebald and Teju Cole, who use images to supplement and contextualize ideas, Croft introduces each of her short chapters — some are only a single paragraph — with dreamlike snapshots taken by her or her mother of streets, buildings, birthday parties and everyday moments, to mysterious and engaging effect.”
In Croft’s book, “words function as networks of secret shapes that both guide and confound her, often in the same moment,” said the review.
“Words owe their very existence to distance, although their deepest purpose is to overcome it,” Croft writes.