"Grief feels like love. Sometimes you press on that tender spot, because it’s as close as you can get to the person who is otherwise gone.” – Kate Brody
Posts tagged "friendship"
And they lived happily ever after...?

And they lived happily ever after…?

Few of us can resist the appeal of a happy ending – especially if it involves two great characters heading off into the sunset together and living happily ever after. As a writer what could be more satisfying after years of toil than capping your fountain pen knowing that everyone is coupled up and all...
Embracing the unknown

Embracing the unknown

Gina Chung’s near-future debut novel Sea Change is narrated by 30-year-old Korean American aquarium worker Ro, whose menial job is uplifted by taking care of a magnificent, genetically mutated giant octopus called Dolores. Dolores was brought to the aquarium by Ro’s father two decades earlier, lifted from a highly polluted stretch of northern ocean known...
Getting on: Later-life female friendship

Getting on: Later-life female friendship

‘The first time I saw you, do you know what I thought?’ Janet steels herself. ‘I thought, that woman looks like she ploughs her own furrow. You stood out from everyone else – no one else in our street strides around with their pockets clanking with tools. I couldn’t take my eyes off you! I...
'Love you, man'

‘Love you, man’

Will Schwalbe’s multi-decade memoir We Should Not Be Friends kicks off at Yale in the early eighties, when the author is selected for membership in a secret society (no, not that Yale secret society) for his senior year. Looking back at his initiation into the group, Schwalbe describes his impressions of his fellow inductees; one in particular, wrestling-team star...
Written in the stars

Written in the stars

When childhood friends Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi reconnect later in life, they are compelled to retrace the history of their dysfunctional families. In the process they uncover a mystery from their grandparents’ generation that lays bare ghosts from the beginnings of the Cultural Revolution that many would prefer to remain buried. Zhang Yueran’s Cocoon...
Karla Neblett: Angry love

Karla Neblett: Angry love

Karla Neblett’s hugely impressive debut novel King of Rabbits is a vividly realised story about a resourceful, sensitive and imaginative boy from a mixed-race, blended family on a Somerset council estate. Kai’s mum is transitioning from heavy drinking to addiction to crack cocaine, which she is led into by his father, who feeds his own...
Frances Cha: Face to face

Frances Cha: Face to face

Frances Cha’s bold and unsettling debut novel If I Had Your Face tells the story of four young women attempting to navigate present-day Seoul. Kyuri is a not-entirely-natural ‘room salon’ beauty whose yearning for a true relationship with a wealthy client threatens her work and status; Kyuri’s flatmate Miho is an orphan who won a...
Kyuri

Kyuri

My mother calls me hyo-nyeo – filial daughter – and strokes my hair with so much love it breaks my heart. But sometimes, she has spells when she shakes with anger towards me. “There is no greater sorrow than not getting married!” she says. “The thought of you alone in life, no children, that is...
Anbara Salam: Desire and betrayal

Anbara Salam: Desire and betrayal

Anbara Salam’s second novel Belladonna is a mesmerising story of friendship, obsession, secrets and identity. In conservative Connecticut in the summer of 1956, 15-year-old Bridget Ryan delights in her friendship with cool, enigmatic, beautiful and brazen Isabella Crowley. The following summer, they both get the chance to spend a year in Italy studying at a...
The existentialist and the minestrone

The existentialist and the minestrone

Kit’s mobile rings at exactly 2.00 pm. ‘Why is everyone booking a time to ring?’ ‘It gives a structure to the day,’ says Sarah. ‘The day mightn’t want structure.’ A robin crashes against the bay window in Kit’s first-floor living room. ‘Ouch,’ she says. ‘What?’ ‘It’s the robin who flies into my window. I try to...
American spirit

American spirit

A couple of months ago, I met up with my friend Dorothy. We’d been very close back when we worked at Friday’s together, she as a bartender and I as a waitress, but we hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Maybe three years, since just after her son was born and I quit....
Home at the asylum

Home at the asylum

In the nineteenth century Roosevelt Island, then known as Blackwell’s Island, was crowded with more than a dozen prisons, a smallpox hospital, workhouses, and even a home for “wayward girls.” Municipal leaders in the growing metropolis across the river decided that Blackwell’s Island would be the perfect place to lock away the criminal, the indigent,...