"Good writing, for me, usually comes from groping around in the dark." J. Robert Lennon
Posts tagged "Penguin"
Howling whispers

Howling whispers

Aeschylus wrote the Oresteia at the age of 67, after a life that had included divine inspiration (he was advised by Dionysus in a dream that writing plays, rather than cultivating vineyards, might perhaps be his true calling), overwhelming and continuous political change in his native Athens, valour in battle during the Persian wars, fighting...
Mohsin Hamid: Moving on

Mohsin Hamid: Moving on

Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel Exit West imagines a world in which war refugees and economic migrants have the chance to break for safety by passing through supernatural black doors that serve as wormholes to wealthier countries. It’s a magical conceit that fast-forwards the likely exoduses of the coming decades, and intensifies the human dramas of...
Miriam Elia begs to differ

Miriam Elia begs to differ

Artist and satirist Miriam Elia’s Ladybird-style spoof We go to the gallery was one of the self-made hits of 2015. It attracted both the ire and the opportunism of publishing giants Penguin, who own the copyright in the original, long-overlooked series, and tried to quash Miriam’s work while rushing out their own adult Ladybirds. Now,...
Dartmoor downpour

Dartmoor downpour

Julia Rochester’s debut novel The House at the Edge of the World is longlisted for both the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction 2016. It’s a darkly comic and constantly surprising psychological mystery about comforts and destructive forces among close relatives. A recent family get-together is dominated by foul weather,...
The cruise of the Allegra

The cruise of the Allegra

It was my first winter cruise. I was a waiter on the Allegra, most of the passengers well-to-do people who spent part of the winter cruising in the warm waters of the Pacific, from Puerto Escondido to Singapore and back, including stops in Australia and New Zealand. That winter we stopped along the South American...
In two words

In two words

Michelle Haimoff’s debut novel These Days Are Ours is a witty and reflective story of a group of bright young things trying to make sense of life and love in post-9/11 New York. The action shifts when the main protagonist Hailey finds herself attracted to a man who seems like no other she has dated...
Biblio bibelots

Biblio bibelots

Patricia Ferguson’s gripping and life-affirming new novel Aren’t We Sisters?, the sequel to The Midwife’s Daughter, examines the transformative power of buried secrets, unlikely friendships and unexpected connections among three women in the fictional Cornish town of Silkhampton, where a killer is on the prowl… She shares her literary trinkets. Where are you now? At...
Joshua Ferris: Down in the mouth

Joshua Ferris: Down in the mouth

Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour tells the story of Paul O’Rourke, a restless and anxious dentist in love with life but with no earthly idea of how to live it. A tangle of contradictions, he’s a Luddite with an iPhone (‘me-machine’) habit, and a God-fearing atheist whose troubled past and uncertain...
Flannery O’Connor: ‘Good Country People’

Flannery O’Connor: ‘Good Country People’

As both a reader and writer of stories, I love, perhaps more than any other quality of the form, the daring that defines the very best short stories: that breathtaking break with expectation, or subject matter, or reality as we know it. No story writer, it seems to me, had – or has – a...
Rebecca Hunt: Poles apart

Rebecca Hunt: Poles apart

Rebecca Hunt is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, never mind interviewed. Her incredibly poised debut novel Mr Chartwell was published when she was 31 (she’s now 34), and sold in ten countries. Also longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, she could frankly be excused for taking herself very seriously indeed. But...