Fiction

Eastern promises – the rediscovery of Stefan Heym

27 November 2012 11:36

A German Jew fleeing Nazism to America; a soldier in the D-Day landings; a US citizen moving to the GDR…

Write a novel in a month

15 November 2012 17:54

Could you write a novel in a month? Plenty of people around the world are trying to do just that…

Philip Roth retires

10 November 2012 14:51

Philip Roth has retired. He told a French magazine that, at 79, he was ‘done’. There will be no more…

Poppy appeal

8 November 2012 16:30

As Remembrance Sunday draws closer and we pin poppies to our coats, we can also see them adorning the jackets…

Puffing Pamela: Book hype, 18th-century style

7 November 2012 17:11

There are quite a few candidates competing for the title of the first novel in English literature. You can make…

Writing the Tory Wars

6 November 2012 16:37

On starting a new job at Westminster in the early 2000s, and despondent about my party’s lot, I began to…

Review: The Collini Case, by Ferdinand von Schirach

31 October 2012 10:30

During the Second World War both Germans and Allies routinely shot civilians in reprisal for attacks on their armed forces.…

Review – Hawthorn and Child, by Keith Ridgeway

30 October 2012 10:30

‘The body is a multitude of ways of coming apart’ writes Keith Ridgeway in his most recent novel Hawthorn &…

Cult status: an interview with Mike McCormack

26 October 2012 11:28

Mike McCormack published his first book of short stories Getting it in the Head in 1996. The debut earned him…

Plein-air pleasures and the great indoors

24 October 2012 16:44

Some say it’s the walk there that does it. The promenade down a rambling city path and through a crowd…

Jobs for the girls

22 October 2012 13:34

Unless you’re a twenty-something year old woman, you probably have no idea who Lena Dunham is. Well you will soon.…

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…

To take or not to take a pseudonym

18 October 2012 14:04

Literary pseudonyms have been on my mind lately, for a couple of reasons. The first is Salman Rushdie’s revelation that…

Your guide to the Booker Prize

16 October 2012 10:29

Assorted literary grandees will squeeze into their tuxes this evening to compete for the Booker Prize. Of the debut novelists, one…

Ian McEwan’s novel questions

15 October 2012 12:41

Brevity does not imply levity. That, at least, is the view of Ian McEwan. The national treasure was speaking at…

The great shroud of the sea rolled on – reading Moby-Dick

11 October 2012 18:27

mobydickbigread.com is a website. It adapts Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick into an online audiobook. The content is rich: what tech…

Should literature be political?

8 October 2012 17:46

‘Should literature be political?’ Njabulo S Ndebele asked Open Book Cape Town the other day. Ndebele, a renowned academic in…

China bans Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84’: George Orwell would have seen the irony

27 September 2012 9:01

Books – or lack thereof – are the latest manifestation of anti-Japanese sentiment in China. The escalating dispute over the…

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…

Of snobs, nobs and plebs

24 September 2012 17:17

The muggles of Tutshill, Gloucestershire, have a bone to pick with J.K. Rowling. Tutshill is where Rowling spent her unhappy…

‘Story of O’ and the Oral Tradition

21 September 2012 14:40

A fascinating case was recently brought before the Italian courts. After six years of conjugal submission to her padrone (far…

Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ revisited

17 September 2012 11:34

The publication of Joseph Anton (tomorrow), Salman Rushdie’s much anticipated memoir, has given newspapers cause to revisit The Satanic Verses. The…

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…

Review: Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson

14 September 2012 15:19

Winning the Booker can do strange things. For one, critics tend to become noticeably shyer around authors with some bling…

An introduction to Javier Marías

13 September 2012 12:31

The fundamental purpose of the literary critic is to incentivise his audience to read books of which he approves. He…