Confronting fractured worlds in Elleke Boehmer's To The Volcano, TLS

In “South, North”, the second story in Elleke Boehmer’s new collection, Lise, a young Australian woman, visits Paris after learning French. She has a backpack full of classic books, including Émile Zola’s L’Assommoir, and a map borrowed from her French teacher. She wakes early in her hostel, eats an apple and goes out looking for the Goutte d’Or, the setting for Zola’s novel. On the way she eats a madeleine from a packet bought in a métro kiosk. It “tastes of almost nothing”.

Anjali Joseph dissects To The Volcano and other stories by Elleke Boehmer for Times Literary Supplement.