“There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "Fourth Estate"
Other Africas

Other Africas

Most first-time visitors’ images of Africa are shaped by the safari experience, which is defined by its artificiality. Camping hundreds of miles from the nearest office block or high street, they learn every detail of an elephant’s sex life but catch only brief glimpses of how the locals live. Western reporters, in contrast, are drawn...
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),...
All-seeing I

All-seeing I

Omniscient narrators are an endangered species. Once they flourished, roaming freely over the lush grasslands of 19th-century fiction. Now, when I look at my bookshelves, it seems that less than 10% of contemporary fiction is narrated omnisciently. A simple experiment: take a look at your own shelves and ask yourself who’s doing the talking. Count...
The day the music died

The day the music died

When Tamsin Jarvis was twelve, she saw her father kissing another woman. The whole family was up in Manchester to hear him conduct a celebration of British music at the Bridgewater Hall. It was a treat, at the end of the concert, for Tamsin to go to his dressing room all by herself. Her mother...
A tenor of old Ireland

A tenor of old Ireland

Some years ago I found myself living in New York City. I was there because my wife worked as a development officer for a large and well-known Irish institution, and there were bountiful potential funds in the Irish-American community. We attended many functions and dinners, and I got to meet plenty of high-net-worth Irish-Americans. I...
Leaving it all behind

Leaving it all behind

Rickard Velily’s first job in New York was as a reporter for a small local newspaper. He did not stay long in the job because it was apparent that the other people who worked in the newspaper were doing so as a sort of retirement project. He felt guilty spending time with them when, after...
Ghosts that don't say boo

Ghosts that don’t say boo

My new novel A Reunion of Ghosts tells the story of three suicidal sisters whose great grandfather played a role in mass killings in both World Wars. Given such dark subjects, readers tend to express pleasant surprise upon finding that the novel is laced with humor. This reaction makes me happy. A smaller contingent of...
Sins of the fathers

Sins of the fathers

From a distance the tattoo wrapped around Delph’s calf looks like a serpentine chain, but stand closer and it’s actually sixty-seven tiny letters and symbols that form a sentence – a curse: the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the 3rd & 4th generations We are that fourth generation: Lady, Vee,...
Mr Cunningham's feelings for snow

Mr Cunningham’s feelings for snow

Michael Cunningham’s best-known work is the Pulitzer Prize-winning sensation The Hours, about three women whose lives intersect across the 20th century. His latest novel features another trio of characters, but this time their lives are more directly entwined. The Snow Queen opens in 2004 on a wintry New York day as Barratt Meeks, a 30-something...
So long, and thanks for all the towels

So long, and thanks for all the towels

On the Kindle, I carry around the books I have probably read more times in my life than any other: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and its four sequels. How splendid it is to have them on an electronic book “with a screen about three inches by four”, like the Guide itself. Douglas Adams...