"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Author Archive
Sloane Crosley: Sparkling in the dark

Sloane Crosley: Sparkling in the dark

Sloane Crosley’s debut novel The Clasp is the story of three college friends – Kezia, Victor and Nathanial – each of whom is reassessing their friendships, careers and love lives as they turn 30. Written in the style of a comedy caper, while also owing much of its inspiration to Guy de Maupassant’s famous short...
Abi Morgan gets our vote

Abi Morgan gets our vote

When I was 11 years old, I chose the suffragettes as the topic for one of my first secondary school projects. I’d been vaguely aware of the movement due to a large book that sat on a bookcase in our dining room entitled Shoulder to Shoulder, edited by Midge Mackenzie. The book was a companion...
Hanya Yanagihara: Among friends

Hanya Yanagihara: Among friends

Only a day or two after I meet with Hanya Yanagihara to interview her about her Man Booker shortlisted novel A Little Life, the best new book I’ve read this year, I go to the cinema to see Crystal Moselle’s documentary The Wolfpack. The film tells the story of the six Angulo brothers who, despite...
Benjamin Wood by extension

Benjamin Wood by extension

Benjamin Wood’s second novel The Ecliptic opens on a snowy winter’s day on Heybeliada, an island off the coast of Istanbul where a gated retreat, known as Portmantle, is home to a collection of artists, writers, architects and musicians seeking refuge from the outside world. Amongst them is Elspeth Conroy, a famous painter who made...
Nell Zink takes flight

Nell Zink takes flight

I’d be prepared to put money on the fact that even if you haven’t read either of her novels – The Wallcreeper and Mislaid – you’ve still heard of Nell Zink. Having burst onto the literary scene last autumn with the publication of the former in the US (by the small independent publishing house Dorothy),...
Jami Attenberg: How to be

Jami Attenberg: How to be

Jami Attenberg’s new novel Saint Mazie tells the fictionalised story of one of Manhattan’s real-life heroes of the early 20th century: Mazie Phillips-Gordon, the brassy, big-hearted proprietress of the Venice movie theatre in the Bowery who spent most of her adult life helping the homeless. In 1940 Joseph Mitchell profiled Mazie for the New Yorker – a...
Christopher Bollen: Distraction games

Christopher Bollen: Distraction games

Christopher Bollen’s second novel Orient takes its title from the name of the small hamlet on the tip of the North Fork of Long Island. His story begins as summer draws to a close. Mills Chevern, a 19-year-old foster-home kid-turned-drifter who hails from California is taken pity on by Orient native Paul Benchley, a middle-aged...
Fiction 2014–2015

Fiction 2014–2015

It’s that time of year again, so here’s my list of the best reads from the past twelve months, and some recommendations for a few titles to look out for in the new year. Starting with novels, and a title I would pick as my favourite of the year if pushed – Akhil Sharma’s Family...
Siri Hustvedt unmasked

Siri Hustvedt unmasked

Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World is a sparkling tour de force examining ideas about perception and identity. Harriet ‘Harry’ Burden, an artist railing against the New York art establishment that she believes has overlooked her work, undertakes a unique and complicated experiment: hiding behind the fronts of three male artists who exhibit her work as...
Akhil Sharma: Let it bleed

Akhil Sharma: Let it bleed

Akhil Sharma’s long-awaited second novel Family Life tells the story of an Indian immigrant family’s arrival in America – a mother, father and two sons: 8-year-old Ajay and the older Birju – and the terrible tragedy that befalls them when Birju hits his head on the bottom of a swimming pool, where he lies unconscious...