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Jonathan McAloon rss

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The Foyle prize for poetry will restore your faith in arts awards

6 October 2014 15:10

Those of us who were never destined to be great young poets can probably remember the attempts. I kept my verses from when I was 14 in a pillowcase, which… Continue reading

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Mansfield Park ( 1999 version

Why boys love Jane Austen

2 September 2014 12:36

When I first read Jane Austen I had an ulterior motive. I wanted to impress a girl who read her. I didn’t get the girl, but I got the novelist:… Continue reading

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(MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sheila Heti: ‘I did worry putting sex in the book would eclipse everything else’

31 May 2013 9:27

There is a question which writers (and readers) of literary fiction get tired of hearing: which bits really happened? The traditional and respectable answer is that this doesn’t matter. Everything… Continue reading

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The Fun Stuff by James Wood is published by Jonathan Cape.

Interview with James Wood

12 April 2013 8:15

James Wood is arguably the most celebrated, possibly the most impugned, and definitely the most envied, literary journalist living. By his mid twenties he was the chief book reviewer for… Continue reading

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Heavy Snow Fall Hits Southern England

Death Comes For The Poets by Matthew Sweeney and John Hartley Williams – review

19 March 2013 10:00

Death Comes For The Poets is an unliterary book with a highly literary subject. It’s usually done the other way around: exquisite quodrilogies about American car salesmen; towering works about… Continue reading

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Lars Iyer says that his books attempt to puncture the modern world's sentimental view of the past and sentimental hopes for the future. (Image: Getty)

Interview with a writer: Lars Iyer

6 March 2013 9:40

People call Lars Iyer a ‘cult author,’ which is odd, because almost every paper to have reviewed him from here to Los Angeles has praised him endlessly. The ‘cult’ thing… Continue reading

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Junot Diaz, author of 'This is How You Lose Her'. Image: Getty

Junot Diaz, the new Saul Bellow

23 January 2013 17:29

Every so often a writer renovates a whole literary landscape from underneath. Armed to the teeth with slang and learning, Saul Bellow reinvented American prose with The Adventures of Augie… Continue reading

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A man stands in the graveyard in Rome in which Keats is buried. Image: Getty

John Keats by Nicholas Roe – review

13 November 2012 17:22

The joke has been made by Jack Stillinger, an American editor of Keats, that there have been so many treatments of the poet’s life that we know him better than… Continue reading

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'Train Dreams', by Denis Johnson, is the story of 'the old way of American life'. Images: Getty

Back to the start – Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson

22 October 2012 10:01

Train Dreams, the Pulitzer nominated novella by playwright, poet and U.S National Book Award winning novelist Denis Johnson, is the life story of Robert Grainer, a man who ‘had one… Continue reading

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'John Saturnall's Feast' would have been the ideal setting for Lawrence Norfolk's full descriptive talents. Image: Getty.

Review – John Saturnall’s Feast, by Lawrence Norfolk

25 September 2012 15:16

Lawrence Norfolk has always liked to centre his novels around a mixture of existing and constructed myth, and then let the action which happens centuries later be informed by or… Continue reading

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A Possible Life is a rewarding and subtly engrossing novel. Image: Getty.

Review – Sebastian Faulks’s A Possible Life

14 September 2012 17:38

In a promotional video clip, Sebastian Faulks describes his new novel, A Possible Life, as like ‘a symphony in five movements… or an album in which the tracks are separate… Continue reading

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