Category Archives: Biography

Van Gogh and Britain (Tate)

“I’m gradually beginning to turn into a true cosmopolitan, meaning not a Dutchman, Englishman or Frenchman, but simoply a man” Vincent Van Gogh February 9, 1874. THIS  book goes with the brilliant exhibition at the Tate Britain, but sometimes a … Continue reading

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Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber)

“The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died.” THE prose is wonderfully joyful and rambling. The Guardian refers to this winner … Continue reading

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Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber)

“Marianne amswers the door when Connell rings the bell.” BY coincidence I heard a radio broadcast where a well known doctor admitted to flunking out of Oxford because of an unhappy love affair and where the plot details do not … Continue reading

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Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (Gallic)

“Mama often talked of this house when I was a child, and of its squirrels with particular fondness.” WE are in the grand manner of the novel as literary artifice, a swell of sentences, characters in the rough, an anchored … Continue reading

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Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham (Hodder)

“My name is Sebastian Rudd, and though I am a well-known street lawyer, you will not see my name on billboards, on bus benches, or screaming at you from the yellow pages.” THERE is a library near me, beside a … Continue reading

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The trip to Echo Springs by Olivia Laing (Canongate)

“Here’s a thing. Iowa City, 1973. Two men in a car, a Ford Falcon convertible that’s seen better days. It’s winter, the kind of cold that hurts bones and lungs, that reddens knuckles, makes noses run. If you could, by … Continue reading

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My name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (Penguin)

“There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in hospital for almost nine weeks” THE thing about writing solely on a macro level is that there is no horizon over which the sun … Continue reading

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