Ah, Morrissey: so much to answer for. I loved Morrissey in 1984 and I love him now. He might come out with some extraordinary nonsense now and again but the world would be a poorer place without him…and if you don’t believe me listen to ‘World Peace is None of Your Business’ which is every bit as good as ‘You are the Quarry’. Anyway, a copy of his novel, ‘List of the Lost’ is first up:
‘Ezra, Nails, Harri, Justy. You’d dig hard and deep to excavate four names quite so unusual. Yet there they were and there they stood, sounding exactly like what they were. You would be offered a hearty shake of the javelin hand as expressions of possession of command from the four boys, each one fully developed into the blissful torment of the turnabout twentieth year – a pleasantly resolved marital union almost closed off on its camaraderie to the onlookers of the mookish greater world.’
My next book is a complete indulgence. So much did I love Claire-Louise Bennett’s ‘Pond’ that I ordered a copy of the US edition which is in hardback with a cover so bucolic it is almost nauseous.
‘Her Brilliant Career’ by Rachel Cooke is a book I’ve toyed with for a while. This week I found a nice copy in a charity shop – hurrah! Cooke’s book looks at a number of women who forged hugely successful careers in the 1950s and provided blazing trails for others to follow. The writers Nancy Spain and her partner Joan Werner Laurie, the film producer/ directors Muriel and Betty Box, and the archaeologist Jaquetta Hawkes all feature. I was particularly drawn to the architect Alison Smithson (right) who, in partnership with her husband was responsible for some classic ‘Brutalist’ architecture and who was, by all accounts, quite fearsome…and quite arresting. Below is possibly her most famous work, Robin Hood Gardens in London.
That deep green block, top centre of the photograph is actually a rather nice copy of ‘The Mill on the Floss’ by George Eliot. I think I’ve read almost all of Eliot’s books, albeit a long time ago, so this is an excuse to get reacquainted!
Finally, if anyone is watching the fantabulosa ‘American Crime Story: The Murder of Gianni Versace’ I can thoroughly recommend Gary Indiana’s ‘Three Month Fever’, a scalpel sharp dissection of the life and crime of Andrew Cunnan.