• London

    London Fiction: a Reading List

    A couple of years ago I was involved in a panel event on London fiction. As part of my preparation I decided to put together a list of novels that are set in London and shed some interesting light on the city. Here’s what ...

Clara’s Daughter by Meike Ziervogel

Authors and publishers generally live in different camps. They have their own associations, their own awards, their own complaints about the people in the other camp. Meike Ziervogel is one of the few people to have a foot in both. She’s the founder of Peirene Press, which publishes contemporary European fiction in translation, and she’s also […]

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A potential novel: In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds

Reading Adam Foulds’s new novel In the Wolf’s Mouth, I was reminded of literary movements like Oulipo, which explored the concept of ‘potential literature’. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that the novel is particularly experimental. It’s the ‘potential’ aspect that stuck in my head. In the world of Oulipo and others, the emphasis was more […]

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The Reckoning by Jacob Soll

From Dante’s Inferno to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, accounting has often had a bad name. The Reckoning by Jacob Soll goes a long way towards redeeming it, showing how financial accountability has been at the heart of the rise and fall of nations from Renaissance Italy to the present day. A history of accounting may not sound […]

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What I’m Doing When I’m Not Here

I always promised myself I’d never write a “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while…” post. So this isn’t one of those posts. I’m not apologising, nor am I labouring under the illusion that hordes of you were out there waiting for my latest post. I’m just trying to get back into a regular rhythm, […]

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The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik

I cannot get out. Something must have happened to the lock. That’s the first line of Hanne Ørstavik’s novel The Blue Room. Are you feeling claustrophobic yet? If I tell you that the entire novel takes place with the protagonist locked in the same small bedroom, you may feel yourself starting to hyperventilate. Don’t worry, though. Johanne may […]

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Calling all unpublished novelists: here’s your break!

In February 2008, I was in despair. I’d given up a good job as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York to pursue my dream of writing fiction, and all I had to show for it was a stack of rejection slips. Exactly a year later, I was standing outside a branch […]

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