"Good writing, for me, usually comes from groping around in the dark." J. Robert Lennon
Posts tagged "Henry James"
Where unhappiness ends: Naples beyond Ferrante

Where unhappiness ends: Naples beyond Ferrante

You know you are in Naples when the taxi taking you to the city centre from the tiny local airport seems to be driven by a perfectly amiable madman, dead set on breaking your neck (and his) as he hurtle-bumps his vehicle down the almost vertical, serpentine ribbons that are many of the city streets....
Terrifying tales

Terrifying tales

Children are the lawless adventurers in our midst, semi-detached from adult society. Eventually – in most cases – they’ll be reined in and civilised. Until then these creatures are loose in the world – raw, unformed and vulnerable. All of which makes them an ideal focus for fiction. The books on this list are not...
Lifting the lid

Lifting the lid

Sophia Khan’s debut novel Dear Yasmeen is the story of Irenie, a young girl in upstate New York whose charismatic mother disappeared five years ago, and her distant, eccentric father James, who refuses to open up about the past. As Irenie digs around for details of her mother’s life, she uncovers love letters written between...
A fruitful distillation of old and new

A fruitful distillation of old and new

Patrick Marber’s Three Days in the Country at the National Theatre. “A ripe-soft pear” was Gustave Flaubert’s term of affection for his good friend Ivan Turgenev. Taken out of context, the term is hardly a compliment. Une poire molle is someone who lacks character, conviction, mettle; yet Flaubert must have meant something very different. According...
David Nicholls steps up

David Nicholls steps up

I meet David Nicholls for coffee at his house one weekday morning. We talk about Henry James and he tells me that he read Portrait of a Lady last year. The novel obviously had an impact on him as he quotes from it in his latest, rather wonderful novel, Us. I want to get to...