"I’ve always written short stories, I’ve always been interested in the form being dictated by the concept, rather than the other way round." Jon McGregor
Author Archive
Civil rights and wrongs

Civil rights and wrongs

When James Baldwin died in 1987, he left behind 30 pages of letters titled Notes Toward Remember This House, an unfinished manuscript about the lives and deaths of three of his friends – Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. – civil rights activists, all of whom were assassinated in the space of...
Tim Murphy: Shouting out

Tim Murphy: Shouting out

Published last year in the US, and now here in the UK, if you haven’t already heard of Tim Murphy’s novel Christodora, let this be your tip-off. Not least because Paramount TV have bought the rights and they’ve hired Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias – whose film collaborations Keep the Lights On (2012), Love is...
Alexandra Kleeman: Spaces in between

Alexandra Kleeman: Spaces in between

She’s been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the wise young women of our generation”; Ben Marcus called her “one of the sharpest and smartest young writers” around, “ambitious, promising, brilliant”; and Vanity Fair described her as a “future superstar”. These are just a handful of the accolades heaped on American author...
Tumult and majesty

Tumult and majesty

Looking back on an eye-opening year in literature and politics, I winnow down my favourite books of 2016 and pick out some of the spring 2017 titles that have so far caught my eye. It’s a captivating mix of reliable favourites, new voices, and authors striking out on a new path.   MY 2016 TOP...
Cristina Sánchez-Andrade: Flickers

Cristina Sánchez-Andrade: Flickers

The Winterlings is the first of Spanish author Cristina Sánchez-Andrade’s novels to be published in the UK, and it makes for an intoxicating introduction to her work. It’s a tale of two sisters hiding a dark secret, and magic and enchantment in all forms, from village superstitions to the glamour of the movies. Set chiefly...
Elena Lappin: Secrets and lives

Elena Lappin: Secrets and lives

In Elena Lappin’s novel The Nose, her protagonist Natasha Kaplan, a young New Yorker in London editing an Anglo-Jewish magazine, discovers more than she’s bargained for when in the course of her new job she ends up uncovering secrets about her own family’s past. “I thought I had invented and imagined it all,” writes Lappin...
Whit Stillman: All there

Whit Stillman: All there

You’d be forgiven for not exactly jumping with joy at the news that yet another Jane Austen adaptation has hit the big screen. This year alone has seen the release of both Burr Steer’s irreverent and rather dubious Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the publication of Curtis Sittenfeld’s contemporary reimagining of the original, Eligible....
Garth Greenwell: Cruise control

Garth Greenwell: Cruise control

Writing in The Atlantic last year, Garth Greenwell hailed Hanya Yanagihara’s Man Booker shortlisted A Little Life as the great gay novel we’ve been waiting for. Regular Bookanista readers might recall my own obsession with Yanagihara’s novel last year. Like Greenwell I found radical potential in the models of adult life it portrayed. Nearly a...
Helen Ellis: Back with a bang

Helen Ellis: Back with a bang

Helen Ellis is as surprised as anyone at the success she’s having with her short story collection American Housewife. “I’m sure you know my back story,” she says politely when we meet for this interview, and yes, it’s been hard to miss since heavyweights such as The New York Times and Vogue have run recent...
The year of the Watchman

The year of the Watchman

As 2015 draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the literary highlights of the past twelve months. I ended last year’s round-up with brief mentions of a few titles I already had my eye on, and I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of them didn’t disappoint. Edith Pearlman’s short-story collection Honeydew...