Review: “Good on Paper” by Rachel Cantor

Thumbs up for Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor. Literature.

One of the only two book blogs I regularly follow gave this book glowing praise. There aren’t many novels out there in which the main character is a literary translator and translation is actually central to the plot: events are kicked off by the heroine receiving a phone call from a Nobel-prize winning poet who will have no one other than her translate his newest book. It’s a huge windfall for Shira, who lives with her gay co-parent and survives via one temp job after another. But can you imagine, things get complicated? With the translation, with the poet, with the co-parent, with Shira’s odd daughter, with Benny “Jellyroll” Jablonsky, the New Age-rabbi owner of the indie bookstore across the street? The plot clips right along, with Shira’s translation work (and some Dante allegory) woven intelligently into the story. Probably a limited audience for this one, to be honest, but if that description makes you think it’s the sort of thing you’ll like, it will deliver most charmingly.

Dotty is a worrisome child, Jeanette said. She wants the condo association to organize a gold cooperative for Y2K. Can you believe it? We should convert our savings into gold and buy a safe together. These are people who can’t decide what color to paint the foyer!

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