“There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "John Cheever"
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...
Observers and dreamers

Observers and dreamers

We gave Tom Barbash the task of winnowing down his ten favourite short stories. “Impossible,” he countered, “but here are some great ones that came to mind.”   Alice Munro: ‘Chance’ A young woman on a cross-country train trip decides to decline polite conversation with an affable stranger. From this seemingly minor moment a series...
Rereadability unbound

Rereadability unbound

I’d like to think there’s something more essential about the short story than just its being, well, short. Are short stories inherently tidier, messier, more dramatic, voicier, paradoxically slower, better with beer and pretzels than neighboring forms? We could adjectival-phrase away for days on this, following up with maybe yesses and maybe nos, but I...
Yaddo, Yaddo

Yaddo, Yaddo

Even to me, it seems unlikely. A 50-year-old woman – with no writing history, no MFA, no closet of stories, no folder of poems – pens a novel that becomes a lead title for Simon & Schuster. I’ve been over it a few times in my head – the parts that were amazing, the parts...