Mohamed Mbougar Sarr: La Plus Secrète Mémoire des hommes [The Most Secret Memory of Men]

The latest addition to my website is Mohamed Mbougar Sarr‘s Plus Secrète Mémoire des hommes [The Most Secret Memory of Men]. African writers have done well with literary prizes in 2021, winning the Nobel Prize, the International Booker (a French national but of Senegalese heritage) and the Booker Prize. This novel, the longest (by far) … Read more

Pola Oloixarac: Mona (Mona)

The latest addition to my website is Pola Oloixarac‘s Mona (Mona). Our heroine/narrator is Mona Tarrile-Byrne, a Peruvian writer. Her first novel was well received and helped get her onto a doctoral programme at Stanford. Her second novel and, indeed,her personal life are not going so well. She has been nominated to receive the prestigious … Read more

Musings on the Nobel Prize for Literature

Now that the day when the Nobel Prize for Literature might have been announced is well past and not only did we not get it this year, we may not get it next year, and now that we have had the Murakami-less, heavily Scandinavian weighted Alternative Nobel literature prize, interestingly and deservedly won by the … Read more

Elena Ferrante has won the Nobel Prize!

No, she hasn’t but I needed a catchy title that combined the two key literary events of the past couple of weeks and Bob Dylan unmasked definitely seemed like second best. So let’s start with Elena Ferrante. Many people have been very critical about the unmasking of her by Claudio Gatti. Jeanette Winterson, for example, … Read more

Republic of Consciousness Prize for Best Novel published by a Small Press

I am well aware that, while I have quite a few reviews of books published by independent presses, I do not have many published by UK-based independent presses, publishing books originally written in English. Author Neil Griffiths, author of books such as Betrayal in Naples and Saving Caravaggio, is setting up The Republic of Consciousness … Read more

Saltire Literary Awards

The Saltire Society has announced its shortlist for its 2015 literary awards. While the fiction list has several of the usual suspects – Irvine Welsh, Kate Atkinson, the underrated Janice Galloway, whose novel The Trick is to Keep Breathing I read many years ago and plan to reread and review some day, Andrew O’Hagan amd … Read more

Man Booker Prize shortlist

They have just announced the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize. They are: Marlon James: A Brief History of Seven Killings Tom McCarthy: Satin Island Chigozie Obioma: The Fishermen Sunjeev Sahota: The Year of the Runaways Anne Tyler: A Spool of Blue Thread Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life Two from the UK, two from … Read more

Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize Longlist

The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize has announced its longlist. Here is what they say about it: This diverse group of books has been chosen by the judges as they display the flair, range and literary rigour abounding in British writing today and should, the judges believe, be widely read. In a nation reeling from the … Read more

Literary prizes

If you have been following this blog recently, you will have noticed I have been reading selections from the shortlists/winners of literary prizes. This was a response to the disappointing (for me) Man Booker Prize shortlist. One thing I did discover is that there are far more literary prizes than I had imagined. Wikipedia has … Read more