Category Archive: fiction

READS OF THE YEAR 2015: Rebecca DeWald

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Timothy Egan, The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest (Vintage, 1990) In 2015, I was lucky enough to be able to embark on a road trip, beginning in Vancouver… Continue reading

IMPERSONAL UTOPIA: Joanna Walsh’s ‘Hotel’

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Joanna Walsh Hotel (Bloomsbury Books, 2015) by Laura Waddell Hotels are where our desires go on holiday. Object Lessons is “an essay and book series on the hidden lives of everyday things” which takes quotidian objects as… Continue reading

A POLITICAL TOUR OF ISTANBUL: ‘The Book of Istanbul’, edited by Jim Hinks and Gül Turner

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This piece is part of our Life in the 21st Century City thread, an occasional series of reviews, essays and travelogues. It seeks to explore the felt reality of world cities today and the experience of… Continue reading

BY-PASSING CHILE: Alejandro Zambra’s ‘My Documents’, translated by Megan McDowell

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Editor Rebecca DeWald travelled to Argentina and took books of and about Argentine literature with her, a literature which is receiving more and more attention in English at the moment. In this thread,… Continue reading

THE HIDDEN HEART OF THE JACKALOPES: Angela Readman’s ‘Don’t Try This at Home’

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Angela Readman, Don’t Try This at Home (And Other Stories, 2015) By Naomi Richards Angela Readman’s innovative debut collection combines an understanding of harsh reality with the inexplicable. These are sharp tales in a… Continue reading

EIBF 2015: CECI N’EST PAS UNE PIPE: Celebrating Simenon

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This is one of a number of pieces covering events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which runs from 15th–31st August 2015 at Charlotte Square Gardens, Edinburgh. John Simenon and Daniel Hahn discussed Georges Simenon’s work… Continue reading

THE HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF THE DIVINE: Anne Cuneo’s ‘Tregian’s Ground’, translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie and Roland Glasser

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Anne Cuneo, Tregian’s Ground: The Life and Sometimes Secret Adventures of Francis Tregian, Gentleman and Musician, translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie and Roland Glasser (And Other Stories, 2015) By S.J.L.Constantine The late Anne… Continue reading

RETURN TO THE 1950S: Rachel Cooke’s ‘Her Brilliant Career’ and the novels of Mary Renault and Barbara Pym

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Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties, Rachel Cooke (Virago, 2013) The Charioteer, Mary Renault ([1953] Virago, 2013) Excellent Women, Barbara Pym ([1952], Virago, 2009) By Clare Walker Gore In the General… Continue reading

SMALL-TOWN SOUTH AFRICA: Colette Victor’s ‘What to Do with Lobsters in a Place like Klippiesfontein’

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Colette Victor, What to Do with Lobsters in a Place like Klippiesfontein (Cargo, 2015) By Lynnda Wardle Post-apartheid South Africa is not an easy setting for a novel. Writers feel bound somehow to tackle… Continue reading

IN RECOVERY: Guy Mankowski’s ‘How I Left The National Grid’

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Guy Mankowski How I Left The National Grid (Roundfire, 2015) by Laura Waddell Describing itself as “a post-punk novel”, Guy Mankowski’s How I Left The National Grid is written from the alternating perspective of Robert… Continue reading