“You have one body and one life to live and you only get this one shot – and that reality can drive you crazy.” Ottessa Moshfegh
Posts tagged "Viking"
Stepping into the dark

Stepping into the dark

A lifelong passion for gothic novels led Sara Collins to give up a career in law and test her mettle as a fiction writer. We catch up with her in the midst of a whirlwind US tour ahead of publication of her hotly anticipated debut The Confessions of Frannie Langton. Where are you now? I’m...
Fatima Bhutto: Lost hearts and souls

Fatima Bhutto: Lost hearts and souls

Fatima Bhutto’s second novel The Runaways is a provocative, astute and ever-timely exploration of what makes three young people in Pakistan and England reject the society that raised them and sign up to the war against the West. Anita, growing up in a sprawling Karachi slum, aims to better herself with book learning but finds...
Love, judgement and forgiveness

Love, judgement and forgiveness

“Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them”, said Lord Illingworth to Mrs Arbuthnot in A Woman of No Importance. It is perhaps one of Wilde’s most chilling aphorisms, as much a witticism à clef, as it must have felt like a presentiment and...
Daydream believer

Daydream believer

Salley Vickers’ latest novel The Librarian is the story of Sylvia Blackwell, a woman in her twenties in the 1950s who moves to the quaint Wiltshire market town of East Mole to work in a library. When she falls in love with an older man, her interactions with his precocious daughter and her neighbours’ son...
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...
Nina Stibbe: Out of the box

Nina Stibbe: Out of the box

Nina Stibbe’s first book Love, Nina, a collection of letters written when she was a nanny in the 198os, was the surprise publishing hit of 2013. Andrew O’Hagan called her “The funniest new writer to arrive in years.” In Love, Nina she mentions writing a (semi-autobiographical) novel as part of her polytechnic course. After the...
Derealization

Derealization

David Bezmozgis’ latest novel The Betrayers is a powerful study of the nature of principles and loyalty, relating the events of a single momentous day in the life of a disgraced Israeli politician and former Soviet dissident who refuses to back down from a contrary stand over the West Bank. We peek inside his writer’s room… Where...
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...
At the chopping board

At the chopping board

Dibden’s section is sprayed with bits of fruit and crumb and peel. Spilt sauces and dark reductions are clotting like blood. Mint leaves tremble in his hands. His mouth is slack and open, his movements awry. His head folds one way, then the other. There is no use left in him. He is a punchdrunk...
Fatima Bhutto borders on empathy

Fatima Bhutto borders on empathy

Fatima Bhutto’s mesmerising and impassioned debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon focuses on the impossible but urgent choices facing five young people living in the tribal areas on the Pakistan border with Afghanistan, where communities are under constant threat from brutal Taliban foot soldiers and American drone strikes – and the vagaries of...