Tag Archives: Literature

A Not So Quiet Life: Hermione Lee’s Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life

Lee, Hermione. Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life. Chatto, 2013. I have always thought that the changing tone of Punch in the fifties and sixties and its demise in 1992 serves as a kind of metaphor for the disappearance of the England … Continue reading

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Confronting The Down Climb: Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life

Seethaler, Robert. Trans. Charlotte Collins. A Whole Life. [Munich: Hanser Berlin, 2014] Toronto: Anansi, 2015. At only 149 pages, A Whole Life can hardly be classified as a novel. It is, however, a somewhat disturbing work covering as it does … Continue reading

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A Gentle Illumination: The Stories of Jane Gardam

Gardam, Jane. The Stories of Jane Gardam. New York: Europa 2014. As you know from earlier posts, I do have a certain fondness for Jane Gardam, so when a friend lent me her copy of The Stories of Jane Gardam, … Continue reading

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An Unfinished Journey: Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad

Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. Toronto: Doubleday, 2016. This is an extremely disturbing novel for several reasons. First is its subject matter and second is what Whitehead does with his story. The Underground Railroad is more than merely the tale of one … Continue reading

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A Prophetic Soul? Ian McEwan’s Nutshell

McEwan, Ian. Nutshell. Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2016. This is one of McEwan’s short books. It is a very clever and witty book indeed, but I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as others have. I found it too self-consciously … Continue reading

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A Little Faith: Love and Loss in Alice Thomas Ellis’ The Birds of the Air

Ellis, Alice Thomas. The Birds of the Air. 1980. Harmondsworth, Mddx.: Penguin 1983. One of the joys of a physically small library outlet is that the library system’s books tend to rotate around the whole system, so browsing the shelves … Continue reading

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Subject and Object: The Anxiety of Reading Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo

Galloway, Steven. The Cellist of Sarajevo. Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2008. This was the last book I read in 2016, and perhaps needless to say it felt depressingly topical. Galloway’s novel was published in 2008 and addresses events from over twenty … Continue reading

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