“There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "Vintage"
Docta puella

Docta puella

“This book is about a poet who disappeared, about a woman who pursued her career in a blaze of publicity, while leading a secret life that eventually destroyed her, and who left such a legacy of lies and evasion that her true story can only now be told,” writes Lucasta Miller in the preface of...
Ottessa Moshfegh: Just one shot

Ottessa Moshfegh: Just one shot

Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, a New York Times bestseller shortlisted for the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize, is a darkly hilarious novel about narcotic hibernation and moneyed oblivion. The unnamed narrator is a recent graduate from New York’s Columbia University who has given up her underpaid job as a slacker assistant at...
Sensations and sensibilities

Sensations and sensibilities

Imogen Hermes Gowar’s debut novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a spellbinding and widely acclaimed tale of curiosities, desires, seduction and obsession, centring around the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels of late 18th-century London. She offers a peek inside her southeast London home on a typical writing day. Where are you now? On...
The first killings

The first killings

Who now remembers the story of the Limehouse Golem, or cares to be reminded of the history of that mythical creature? ‘Golem’ is the medieval Jewish word for an artificial being, created by the magician or the rabbi; it literally means ‘thing without form’, and perhaps sprang from the same fears which surrounded the fifteenth-century...
Julie Myerson: Seeing the bad stuff

Julie Myerson: Seeing the bad stuff

The Stopped Heart is Julie Myerson’s ninth novel (she has also written one novella and four works of non-fiction). It may just be her best book yet as it manages to be both a page-turning thriller and a serious exploration of how abuse works. If that sounds off-putting, it shouldn’t be – whilst her subject...
Margaret Atwood: 'Rape Fantasies'

Margaret Atwood: ‘Rape Fantasies’

‘It’. Ten times in the first two paragraphs of Margaret Atwood’s classic ‘Rape Fantasies’, the chatterbox narrator, Estelle, avoids naming rape – plainly the topic she wants to address. And who is this Estelle? Oh, she’s quite the card, quite the jokester about rape, although she does take constant detours from her topic. So we...
Tania James: 'Lion and Panther in London'

Tania James: ‘Lion and Panther in London’

Some short stories exist as fragments of time, giving you the middle of a moment, letting you figure out what brought people to that moment and what will become of them long after that fragment. Some short stories are static, in a head, in a simple interaction. If written badly, uncontrolled or imprecisely, these short...
Breece D’J Pancake: ‘Trilobites’

Breece D’J Pancake: ‘Trilobites’

Breece D’J Pancake is a legend amongst some of my writing friends – but, like any artist dying young, his legacy is coloured by the shadow of the great work that he could have gone on to create. Once you have read his only collection of stories, published posthumously in 1983, you will most likely,...
Sheila Heti talks unpretty

Sheila Heti talks unpretty

Sheila Heti’s most recent novel How Should a Person Be? is a book that’s not afraid of appearing ugly, either aesthetically or morally. There is even a chapter called ‘Sheila Throws Her Shit’. Its writer, however, has a generous spirit, a sincere belief in the importance of art and that same mixture of confidence and...
A.S. Byatt: ‘The July Ghost’

A.S. Byatt: ‘The July Ghost’

In my early-to-mid-twenties, I decided it was time to take up reading again. I was newly single, I had a boring job, and I lived at home with my parents. I needed some excitement in my life so I returned to books. I’d read avidly as a child and into my teens, but I wasn’t...