Tag Archives: English literature

Girl, Woman, Other — Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other explores black female identities in modern Britain. This doesn’t do the book justice, but it’s the core strand connecting the twelve intersecting characters that Evaristo develops across the book’s twelve chapters. And her development of these characters … Continue reading

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Everything Under — Daisy Johnson

Everything Under was a difficult book to form an opinion of. A re-imagining of the Oedipus story, Johnson follows a lexicographer, Sarah, and her attempt to find her mother who abandoned her as a child. She intertwines this with stories … Continue reading

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Autumn — Ali Smith

Autumn has been hailed as the first post-Brexit novel, with a number of critics claiming it as a masterpiece. Certainly the book is very good, and I am increasingly impressed by Ali Smith’s consistently high quality, but I think “masterpiece” … Continue reading

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The Bottle Factory Outing — Beryl Bainbridge

Let me begin by saying that this is a clever book. It’s filled with the understated prose, closely observed characters and slightly twisted humour that Bainbridge does well. That the book did little for me should not detract from that. … Continue reading

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All That Man Is — David Szalay

All That Man Is is not a novel. This does not make it unique: William Trevor’s novella, Reading Turgenev was nominated in 1991, and Alice Munro’s collection of short stories, The Beggar Maid, won the prize in 1980. But it … Continue reading

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Hot Milk — Deborah Levy

In Hot Milk, Sofia, our narrator, has abandoned a doctorate in anthropology to care for her mother, Rose, whose legs are failing her. They are visiting a coastal area of southern Spain to attend a clinic run by a Doctor … Continue reading

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The Redundancy of Courage — Timothy Mo

I really wanted to like this book. Set in the fictional Danu, the novel explores the history of East Timor through the eyes of Adolph Ng, a Chinese man who studied in Canada. Ng becomes involved in the local scene … Continue reading

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An Awfully Big Adventure — Beryl Bainbridge

Semi-autobiographical, An Awfully Big Adventure is about a young girl trying to make it in the theatre, and falling in love. Stella Bradshaw was raised by her aunt and uncle, two mild-mannered, well-meaning individuals representing a peculiarly English notion of … Continue reading

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Possession: A Romance — A. S. Byatt

Possession is not for everyone. It’s long and rambling, taking an age to narrate the most mundane of actions, and it’s packaged in a faux-Victorian style, thankfully borrowed more from poetry than novels. But I’m not alone in loving it, … Continue reading

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The Remains of the Day — Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day is Ishiguro’s third novel, and probably remains his most famous. Many people I know rate it as one of the best books they have read and two acquaintances consider it their favourite book. When I … Continue reading

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