“I wish I had a more reliable way of figuring out how to write. It’s all just intuition and waking dreams.” – Robbie Arnott
Posts tagged "USA"
F. Scott Fitzgerald bathes in the light on the French Riviera

F. Scott Fitzgerald bathes in the light on the French Riviera

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s (1896–1940) literary brilliance as the witty and worldly-wise chronicler of the Jazz Age and his youthful, suntanned good looks were regularly commented on during his heyday in the 1920s. Later, in the light of what followed, they were recalled in sorrow, anger and disappointment. By the time the writer died in Hollywood...
Starting small

Starting small

Lord knows why, but starting my own small press has been a dream as long as I can remember. Guess I’m allergic to money. When I was child, I used to make little books out of typing paper and staples; in my twenties, when no one wanted to publish me, I made pamphlets out of...
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...
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...
The best time

The best time

Catriona Ward’s Sundial pushes the boundaries of psychological horror in pleasing ways. The prose is intelligent, highly observed and exquisitely toxic. Nothing is taboo. Children are slapped, dogs shot, the illusion of the perfect family shattered, and sisterly bonds broken. The writing is austere but substantial, the characters extreme but believable, and the settings beautiful...
David Heska Wanbli Weiden: See everything

David Heska Wanbli Weiden: See everything

The rolling hills of South Dakota’s vast Lakota tribal lands provide a stunning backdrop for David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s explosive debut novel Winter Counts. The opening scene is uncompromisingly violent. Virgil Wounded Horse is a vigilante for hire. Delivering justice for crime victims with his fists, he earns one hundred dollars for every injury he...
Mark Edwards: Proverbial needle, proverbial haystack

Mark Edwards: Proverbial needle, proverbial haystack

In No Place to Run’s opening sequence, Francesca Gilbert is seventy-five years old, mourning the recent loss of a husband, and six hundred miles into her train journey home. Dawn is breaking across a clearing in a Northern California forest when Francesca sees a young woman with “vivid auburn hair” being chased by a man....
Grace Paley: 'Goodbye and Good Luck'

Grace Paley: ‘Goodbye and Good Luck’

I was fortunate enough to see Grace Paley speak. It was back in 2003 or thereabouts at the Small Wonder Festival at Charleston. I think it might have been the first time the festival, which celebrates the wonder of short stories (the clue’s in the title), had taken place. Grace Paley had been due to...
Ellen Hawley: Hard-earned love

Ellen Hawley: Hard-earned love

As any art director, editor or marketer would insist, a book should always be judged by its cover. What made Other People Manage so pickupable for me, was the immediate association with books by Anne Tyler, Carol Shields, Alice Munro, Suzanne Berne… you get the picture. Physically, and thematically, this book resembles those other rather...
Have you ever met the Greeks? They bear the most vital, wondrous gifts…

Have you ever met the Greeks? They bear the most vital, wondrous gifts…

Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, a very old man slept in a bare prison cell. He was not alone, however. An old friend was watching over him, reluctant to wake him up to the day that would mark the end of his life. It is a cameo of extraordinary tenderness and humanity,...
The messenger

The messenger

I’m standing alone in the kitchen trying to pour chocolate batter into a cake pan without getting any on the counter. I’m also trying to think of a way into a conversation with my wife about children. It’s still a few hours before I need to pick her up from the airport, so I can...