‘Brussels Naked‘ is a novel in which Brussels is one of the main characters, perhaps the main character of all. And because Brussels has different faces, the novel consists of stories told by different characters, residents of the city, who, as the story evolves, happen to be often connected to each other. Each chapter presents a unique perspective of the city and the world: whether through the eyes of a Bulgarian woman working in European institutions, or a Senegalese man, or a Bosnian woman, or a Dutch consultant, or an aging Belgian woman, afraid of the hordes of foreigners conquering her beloved city. Besides having the chance to peek into their world and walk in their shoes, we get to know what happens to the other characters, the ones who told us about Brussels in the previous chapters, because they meet and interact. Very interesting structure and narrative technique, it reminds me of Elizabeth Strout’s ‚Olive Kitteridge‘ and is no worse executed. This is the most adequate way to present such a cosmopolitan city. I was strongly impressed by the psychologism with which each character was constructed – a very difficult task, considering how different they are. So many stories have been told, and they are all complete and connected – woven into the body and history of Brussels, which, like its inhabitants, breathes and evolves. ‚Brussels Naked‘ is a modern European novel – European both in subject matter and quality, which I sincerely recommend.
Nevena Mitropolitska, Writer