“Deep curiosity, deep listening, that’s what we have to give to each other. Reading is a form of deep listening, isn’t it? Staying with something, and being affected by it." Maggie Gee
Posts tagged "fiction"
Pompeii, poverty, power and purpose

Pompeii, poverty, power and purpose

In early September, Elodie Harper’s The Wolf Den (May 2021), already shortlisted in the Pageturner category of the British Book Awards, was announced as the winner of the 2022 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award. The novel, the first in a trilogy, follows the fortunes of Amara, a once-beloved daughter who has lived as a slave...
Pascal Engman: Contact at any price

Pascal Engman: Contact at any price

According to Wikipedia, an incel, or involuntary celibate, is “a member of an online subculture of people who define themselves as unable to get a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one.” United by a lethal form of misogyny, male adherents are becoming increasingly emboldened. Deadly attacks from Toronto to Tallahassee and Santa Barbara are...
Here, there and everywhere

Here, there and everywhere

TAHMIMA ANAM’S LATEST novel The Startup Wife is a blisteringly funny satire about love, ambition, feminist geekdom and standing up for what you believe in. Deep-seated complexities of sexism and racism in Silicon Valley and beyond, and the frenzied uncontrollability of social media are laid bare as a charismatic husband gets all the credit for...
Rijula Das: The constant smallness of being

Rijula Das: The constant smallness of being

Set in Calcutta’s notorious red-light district Sonagachi, Rijula Das’s debut Small Deaths resists lazy stereotypes. Years of research have provided Das with an intimate understanding of the power dynamics at play between the madams, pimps and police, and how their often-cruel manoeuvrings have devastating consequences for the endless stream of girls and young women trafficked...
The closeted and the curious

The closeted and the curious

Having previously published The Last Ballad (2018) and When Ghosts Come Home (February 2022), Faber has now released Wiley Cash’s early novels A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy for the first time in the UK. A Land More Kind Than Home is a Southern Gothic thriller about the charismatic...
Down on Disneyland

Down on Disneyland

DOMED BLUE CEILING, a phantom ocean. The Little Mermaid hangs from a wire, waving her hands in greeting, her tail swishing sinuously in her wake. Her stomach bulges from the harness beneath her bodysuit. Down on the ground, visitors brandish cameras, contorting themselves to keep her in their sights. A puff of smoke and Triton,...
Communicating evolutions

Communicating evolutions

Audrey Schulman’s The Dolphin House is an engrossing fictionalised account of a singular episode in modern science. In the mid-1960s, a NASA-funded project led by neuroscientist Dr John Lilly saw naturalist Margaret Howe live in confinement with a dolphin named Peter in a flooded house on St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, to investigate...
Into the lagoon

Into the lagoon

As soon as her head was under the surface, the dolphins’ noises filled her. Sound, bright as light, hard as touch. Ping-pong balls bouncing down metal stairs. Dolphins are constant vocal innovators, playful geniuses with unspeakable power, the Maria Callases of the sea, their sounds unworldly and pure. A gospel group on helium, hitting the...
Female pirates and punk icons

Female pirates and punk icons

In 1981, six months before the ill-fated wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, Vivienne Westwood staged her first fashion show in collaboration with her partner Malcolm McLaren. The name of the collection: Pirates. With bravado and swagger at the core of the collection, the show was a huge success, both critically and financially....
White desire

White desire

Weary and defeated, I collapse onto the damp floor of my cell and think about those people who swarmed the seas like repellent jellyfish and heaved themselves up onto foreign shores. They were interviewed in half-hidden, half-open offices on the outskirts of the city. It was my job, and that of many others, to interpret...