Hannah Kent: Burial Rites

The latest addition to my website is Hannah Kent‘s Burial Rites. Though Kent is Australian, this novel is set entirely in Iceland, where Kent spent some time. It tells the story, based on an actual historical incident, of the murder of two men at a remote farm. Three people have been arrested and found guilty … Read more

Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction #ThisBook

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction have launched #ThisBook, where they have asked nineteen well-known (in the UK but probably not elsewhere) women to nominate the novel written by a woman that most impacted, shaped or changed your life. The results are interesting, if not surprising. With the possible exception of Helen Forrester‘s autobiography, there … Read more

On not being good enough

My bath-time reading of the Guardian Literary Review recently involved reading D J Taylor’s interesting article, rather badly titled Literary hero to zero (I am guessing that the title is a sub’s and not Taylor’s.) However, before getting to the article, I am going to go off on a tangent, which will lead to another … Read more


I have been following with some interest the #readwomen2014 proposal made by writer/illustrator/blogger Joanna Walsh. (She also wrote an article in The Guardian). It has attracted a lot of interest around the world. It started with cartes de voeux bookmarks and has since blossomed into a huge Internet meme. Flavorwire has produced a 50 books … Read more

A Reading List for David Gilmour

As has been extensively reported Canadian writer and professor David Gilmour (no, not that David Gilmour) has made a bit of fool of himself, basically saying that there are no interesting women, Canadian and Chinese writers and saying that he only reads Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip … Read more

Women’s Prize for Fiction

The shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced and nearly got lost in the shuffle, as it was announced the day after Granta’s Best Young British Novelists list. Fortunately for it, there was something of a controversy, as Hilary Mantel was nominated for yet another prize for her book Bring up the Bodies. … Read more

Women writers Part 3

After promising in both the first part and then second part of this topic, here is my mea culpa as to why I have so few women writers on my site. Many years ago, soon after it came out, I read Gail Godwin‘s A Mother and Two Daughters. The book, at least in the United … Read more

Women writers Part 2

In my previous post on this topic, I said that I would say more in a subsequent post about my own failings in this area. However, I first want to look at other literary blogs. There are loads of wonderful literary blogs out there but I have picked a few favourite ones – you will … Read more