Fiction

Clive James – laughing and loving

8 July 2013 17:19

Clive James was a recurring presence in last weekend’s literary press. There was, I regret to say, a valedictory feel…

The week in books

24 June 2013 14:25

This week’s issue of the Spectator is packed with book reviews. Here’s a selection of quotes to whet your appetite.…

The 10 “best” historical novels, sort of…

19 June 2013 11:35

The BBC adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen, which began last Sunday, has led numerous books editors to pick…

Tom Sharpe nearly killed me

7 June 2013 12:13

I was on a train when it happened. I was bent double with my head between my knees, gasping for…

AM Homes’ May We Be Forgiven wins the Women’s Fiction Prize

5 June 2013 20:00

AM Homes’ May We Be Forgiven has won the Women’s Fiction Prize, beating a strong field that included Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith,…

Death of a tyrant

5 June 2013 11:07

For a king very conscious of his own power, who gloried in his status and commissioned famous artists to depict…

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…

Writers in a state of fear

21 May 2013 11:51

A State of Fear, Joseph Clyde’s new thriller*, stands out for many reasons. Thrillers only work if they are thrilling,…

Dangerous romance – Clever Girl by Tessa Hadley

21 May 2013 9:10

‘The bus company’s yellow tin sign on its concrete post seemed for a long while a forlorn flag announcing nothing,’…

Tan Twan Eng interview: ‘I have no alternative but to write in English’

20 May 2013 11:10

Tan Twan Eng’s first novel was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, his second was shortlisted and then won the…

Seriously eccentric – Chaplin & Company by Mave Fellowes

16 May 2013 14:19

Chaplin & Company is an alarming proposition for anyone with a low threshold for the cute and quirky. Its main…

Cult fiction – Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley

14 May 2013 13:57

There’s an attraction, certainly, in joining a cult. Not a Sheryl Sandberg working women type cult but a good old…

Alienation effect

7 May 2013 12:54

‘To give you an idea of the way people here consume stories, I have put this book together as a…

Schroder – one man’s journey into night

30 April 2013 10:54

Erik Schroder is an East German who last saw his mother when he was five years old. In 1975 only…

The Gamal by Ciarán Collins – review

23 April 2013 10:15

My editor told me to read this book and write this review. Six hundred words, he said. Just like the…

The power of Granta’s gift to British writers

19 April 2013 16:39

Philip Hensher was one of Granta’s 20 under forty in 2003, so what does he make of the new list?…

Heat Lightning by Helen Hull – review

16 April 2013 9:56

‘I had decided that I wished to write a novel about the immediate present – this was the summer of…

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…

Fobbit by David Abrams – review

10 April 2013 9:58

Fobbit, by David Abrams, is an attempt at describing a wartime tour from different perspectives, including soldiers and support personnel.…

The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal – review

9 April 2013 10:00

The Exiles Return has been published as a beautiful Persephone Book, with smart dove-grey covers and a riotously colourful endpaper.…

What is the point of fiction if not to expand horizons?

8 April 2013 9:00

While Ian McEwan’s recent piece in the Guardian is not expressly termed a treatise on the value of art, it…

Interview with a writer: Kevin Maher

5 April 2013 10:30

Kevin Maher’s debut novel The Fields is set in the suburban streets of south Dublin in 1984. The story is…

Interview with a writer: John Banville

29 March 2013 11:00

The salubrious surroundings of the Waldorf Hotel seem like a very apt setting to interview a master of style and…

21 books for a godson, pt. 1

25 March 2013 11:30

There is much to be said for godfathers. They offer the wisdom of maturity without the complications of direct filial…

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…