Notes on: Nobel Prizes

It’s Nobel Prize week! It always sneaks up on me. I love Nobel Prize week. After three days of unspeakably brilliant scientists whose achievements I can barely comprehend, it’s time for literature. Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o are once again the hot tips – I can’t think of a year when theyContinue reading “Notes on: Nobel Prizes”

Review #12: Little Gods

After White Ivy, I’ve unexpectedly stumbled upon a perfect double bill. If I’d had a bit more foresight I could have hold on and made this a dual review. This week I’ve been reading Meng Jin’s Little Gods; another debut novel by a Chinese-American writer, with a young female Chinese-American protagonist exploring and understanding herContinue reading “Review #12: Little Gods”

Review #11: White Ivy

White Ivy is a debut novel by Susie Yang, who was born in China, lives in the UK and has, after a PhD and launching a tech start-up in the US, turned her hand to writing. Multi-talented doesn’t appear to cover it. At first glance White Ivy feels like a fairly typical novel of theContinue reading “Review #11: White Ivy”

Notes on: A Suitable Baoyu

This Sunday, the latest BBC literary adaptation, Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, starts in the UK. I can’t wait. Even the slight disappointment of the recent The Luminaries – another favourite doorstop book of mine – doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm. A Suitable Boy is such a beautiful, complete world of a book. So why isContinue reading “Notes on: A Suitable Baoyu”

Review #9: The Promise

Xinran’s latest is a labour of love. She has worked on it since spring 2013, since when several of its subjects have died, as well as her husband, legendary literary agent Toby Eady, who is memorialised in the foreword and afterword (and occasionally in the narrative). Xinran’s heart is on every page, as is herContinue reading “Review #9: The Promise”


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