The longlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced today. The twenty titles are:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah Margaret Atwood - MaddAddam Suzanne Berne – The Dogs of Littlefield Fatima Bhutto - The Shadow of the Crescent Moon Claire Cameron – The Bear Lea Carpenter - Eleven Days M.J. Carter - The Strangler Vine Eleanor Catton - The Luminaries Deborah Kay Davies - Reasons She Goes to the Woods Elizabeth Gilbert - The Signature of All Things Hannah Kent - Burial Rites Rachel Kushner - The Flamethrowers Jhumpa Lahiri - The Lowland Audrey Magee - The Undertaking Eimear McBride - A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing Charlotte Mendelson - Almost English Anna Quindlen - Still Life with Bread Crumbs Elizabeth Strout - The Burgess Boys Donna Tartt - The Goldfinch Evie Wyld - All The Birds, Singing
‘A Man in Love’ is the second book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle six-part autobiographical series of novels. This particular volume focuses on Knausgaard’s relationship with his second wife, Linda, and their life in Stockholm with their three young children. At the time, Knausgaard had recently published his first novel to widespread critical acclaim but was finding it difficult to balance the demands of his domestic life with his writing. Continue reading
‘Sisterland’ by Curtis Sittenfeld tells the story of identical twin sisters, Violet and Kate, who have both had psychic powers of intuition, or “senses” as they call them, since childhood. While Violet continues to embrace this power as an adult and becomes a medium, Kate is a suburban housewife who has tried her best to suppress these senses. However, when Violet goes on television to share her premonition of a catastrophic earthquake which she says will strike the St. Louis area where they both live, their relationship is seriously tested in the days leading towards the predicted event. Continue reading
Founded in 1947 by Charles Ede, the Folio Society is an independent publisher with a reputation for producing beautifully illustrated books. This week, I was lucky enough to attend their spring titles launch event at the British Library in London.
The shortlist for the first Folio Prize was announced today. The eight nominated books are:Red Doc by Anne Carson Schroder by Amity Gaige Last Friends by Jane Gardam Benediction by Kent Haruf The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride A Naked Singularity by Sergio de la Pava Tenth of December by George Saunders
I thought I would try Eleanor Catton’s first novel ‘The Rehearsal’ before tackling her Man Booker Prize-winning epic ‘The Luminaries’ at a later date. Although difficult to summarise the plot as such, ‘The Rehearsal’ is essentially about the aftermath of an affair between a music teacher and one of his seventeen year old students, Victoria. The story behind the scandal is later turned into a play by a local drama school known as the Institute and one of its stars, Stanley, has unknowingly become involved with Victoria’s younger sister, Isolde. Continue reading
Nominated last year for the Waterstones Book of the Year, ‘Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life’ has recently become a popular bestseller through word-of-mouth. The book contains letters written by Nina Stibbe to her sister Victoria when she started working as a nanny in London at the age of twenty in 1982 and later as a student at Thames Polytechnic. She worked for Mary-Kay Wilmers, who has been the editor of the London Review of Books since 1992, and looked after her two sons, Sam aged ten, and Will aged nine.