mon 27/06/2022

literature

Laura Beatty: Looking for Theophrastus review - adventures in psychobiography

Laura Beatty is a kind of Shirley Valentine figure in contemporary English literature. A decade and a half ago she published an astonishing debut novel entitled Pollard about female emancipation from the strictures of English life. In that story her...

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Scholastique Mukasonga: The Barefoot Woman review - remembering Rwanda before 1994

To read Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman, beautifully translated from the French by Jordan Stump, is to see simultaneously through the eyes of a woman and a child.The mother, the industrious and ingenious Stefania, watches her...

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Extract: Catching Fire by Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn began his translation of Jamás el fuego nunca, a novel by experimental Chilean artist Diamela Eltit, in January 2021. Considering the careful, difficult but not impossible “craft” of translation as he worked, Hahn kept a diary,...

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Best of 2021: Books

“Duck! Here comes another year.” We can, I think, all empathise with the motions and emotions of Ogden Nash’s new year poem, “Good Riddance, But Now What?” Before, however, we bid a troublesome year farewell, we look back at the year in fiction and...

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Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), Criterion Theatre review - bursting with wit, verve, and love

“We haven’t started yet!” Hannah-Jarrett Scott, dressed in Doc Martens under a 19th-century shift, reassures us as she attempts to dislodge a yellow rubber glove from a chandelier in the middle of the set of Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)....

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Stuart Jeffries: Everything, All the Time, Everywhere - How We Became Post-Modern review - entertaining origin-story for the world of today

In his 1985 essay “Not-Knowing”, the American writer Donald Barthelme describes a fictional situation in which an unknown “someone” is writing a story.“From the world of conventional signs,” Barthelme writes, laying out for the reader this story...

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Wole Soyinka: Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth review – sprawling satire of modern-day Nigeria

Eight-years passed between the publication of Wole Soyinka’s debut novel, The Interpreters (1965), and his second, Season of Anomy (1973). A lot happened in the interim. One of Nigeria’s most resilient critics of corruption and...

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Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Born in 1840, Thomas Hardy lived a life of in-betweens. Modern yet traditional, the son of a builder who went on to become a famous novelist, he belonged both to Dorset and London. When he died, his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey, but his...

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Claire-Louise Bennett: Checkout 19 review - coming to life

Like any good writer, Claire-Louise Bennett loves lists. Lists are, after all, those moments when words, freed from grammar’s grip, can simply be themselves – do their own thing, show off, let loose. It doesn’t take much for Bennett to let one...

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10 Questions for novelist Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami sits firmly amongst the Japanese literati for her sharp and pensive depictions of life in contemporary Japan. Since the translation of Breasts and Eggs (2020), she has also become somewhat of an indie fiction icon in the UK, with her...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing. It is...

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Natasha Brown: Assembly review - turning personal crisis into perfect criticism

School assembly: one of the many great traditions to be upended by the pandemic. According to this novel, that might not be such a bad thing. It looks like hymns and barely secular thoughts-for-the-day have been swapped out for inspirational,...

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