Posted on 1st July 2014

Posted by Sophie

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 Mr Loverman

Bernardine Evaristo is an audacious writer: whether it’s mining her own family tree for material and weaving it into a verse novel or turning history upside down in a revisionist tale of ‘whytes’ enslaved by Africans, she’s not afraid to rip up the rule book in order to tell a story her own way.  She’s…

Posted on 23rd May 2014

Posted by Sophie

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The Dig

The Dig is a slender but powerful book in which, by whittling away all extraneous elements, Jones carves out a story which is both raw and graceful. It seems fitting that Jones describes his book as a ‘short novel’ rather than a novella: like his characters, he prefers plain words. The Dig is a short…

Posted on 1st April 2013

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The Gospel According to Cane

‘People write because they’ve got an urge to express themselves… Because they’ve seen something they can’t comprehend and they’re trying to work it out through the act of writing.  They write because they want to make sense of their pain’. In The Gospel According to Cane, Beverley, a creative writing teacher in West London, addresses these…

Posted on 24th May 2012

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When Nights Were Cold

From the pen of Susanna Jones comes this intriguing novel, When Nights Were Cold, relating the little-known history of the first female mountain climbers through the twists and turns of a psychological thriller.  Think Touching the Void in bloomers, or The Turn of the Screw does the Matterhorn, and you’ll be halfway there. Our narrator is…

Posted on 21st May 2012

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The Mill for Grinding Old People Young

Glenn Patterson has sometimes been dubbed ‘Northern Ireland’s prose laureate’, and in this novel it’s not hard to see why.  The Mill for Grinding Old People Young takes us back to Belfast in the 1820s, a city in which ‘all things great and small came down to the tide’, and that tide seems to be…

Posted on 23rd April 2012

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Twenty-First Century British Fiction Symposium at Birkbeck, May 11-12

Who are the voices of British fiction today and how are they changing the way we read?

Posted on 16th April 2012

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Fiction Uncovered by… Bianca Leggett

Malcolm Bradbury’s gravestone is engraved with words the author used to describe one of his own characters: ‘Warm and generous, famous and friendly, witty and wise’.  It’s an apt description of a man who during his career became one of the friendliest giants on the British literary scene, pouring his prodigious energies not only into…

Posted on 15th February 2012

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Today

‘And there was a thump—what she came later to describe as the thump—the sound of a suitcase being dropped’. The thump in question signifies the death of Joseph Conrad, the singular and shattering event around which David Miller’s novel Today is arranged.  This novel places us at a remove from the death itself, concerned less…