American Men of Letters

Alfred A Knopf have posted a Facebook page, laughingly entitled American Men of Letters. I say laughingly as if their five American Men of Letters (they presumably mean United States) are the best they can do, God help US letters. They have done it in, to use a US expression, a half-assed way with a … Read more

Rupert Thomson: Secrecy

The latest addition to my website is Rupert Thomson‘s latest novel Secrecy. Unusually for Thomson, it is set in the past – seventeenth century Florence – and involves several real people, including the main character Gaetano Zummo, who made sculptures out of wax, particularly ones showing decomposing bodies. Zummo comes to work for Grand Duke … Read more

Chinghiz Gusseinov: Магомед, Мамед, Мамиш (Mahomet, Mahmed, Mamish)

The latest addition to my website is Chinghiz Gusseinov‘s Магомед, Мамед, Мамиш (Mahomet, Mahmed, Mamish), an Azerbaijani novel, the first one from that country on my website. While certainly not a great novel, it is is certainly very enjoyable, telling the story of a rumbunctious family in Baku who both stick closely together while not … Read more

Margaret Thatcher in literature

I shall not be shedding any tears for Margaret Thatcher. I think that she did untold harm to this country and the day she was kicked out by her own party, despite the fact that she had never lost an election, was a good day. A while ago, I compiled a a list of Thatcher … Read more

Google fail

While writing up my review on François Mauriac‘s Thérèse Desqueyroux (Therese; later: Therese Desqueyroux), I decided to check whether Google, in its wisdom, had indexed my previous entries on Mauriac. With the language setting to English only and searching François Mauriac, I got 729 hits, with the proviso, after the last one, In order to … Read more

François Mauriac: Thérèse Desqueyroux (Therese; later: Therese Desqueyroux)

The latest addition to my website is François Mauriac‘s Thérèse Desqueyroux (Therese; later: Therese Desqueyroux). This is unusual for Mauriac, in that the heroine has committed a criminal act – she has tried to poison her husband. The books starts with her leaving the court, with her father and lawyer, as her husband has perjured … Read more

Kate Atkinson: Life After Life

The latest addition to my website is Kate Atkinson‘s Life After Life. This is a wonderful novel, a sort of cross between Ken Grimwood’s Replay and the film Groundhog Day. Ursula Todd is still-born, the umbilical cord strangling her. She is immediately born again and this time the umbilical cord does not strangle her. She … Read more