Category Archives: Shena Mackay

The Hothouse by the East River – Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark is a tonic. Her books may be slender but what they lack in heft they more than make up for with a huge compression of the blackest of humour, the sharpest of prose, the cleanest of styles and … Continue reading

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Shena Mackay 1: Dust Falls on Eugene Schlumberger/ Toddler on the Run

I love the work of Shena Mackay – if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times. But what is it that makes her work so modern, so appealing? This is the first in a Shena Mackay marathon, … Continue reading

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‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ Ottessa Moshfegh

‘Oh, sleep, nothing else could ever bring me such pleasure, such freedom, the power to feel and move and think and imagine, safe from the miseries of my waking and consciousness.’ I recently wrote about Sayaka Murata’s charming ‘Convenience Store … Continue reading

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Books of the Year 2017

The Ali Smith Book of the year: ‘Winter’ by Ali Smith Is this the most enjoyable book of the year? No. But, like last year’s ‘Autumn’ it is possibly one of the most pertinent and timely of books and is … Continue reading

Posted in Adelle Stripe, Ali Smith, Andrea Dunbar, Beth Underdown, Claire Louise Bennett, Emma Flint, Gwendoline Riley, Ian Waites, John Grindrod, Jon McGregor, Lydie Salvayre, Shena Mackay | Tagged | Leave a comment

Music Time: Saint Etienne

Summer’s here, so who better than Saint Etienne, the best band in all the world! And… I’ve finally(!) finalised my holiday reading (I am a natural ditherer): So, alongside Merce Rodereda and Elizabeth David which I wrote about earlier, I’ve … Continue reading

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Beautiful Books 4

or, ‘You can(sometimes!) judge a book by its cover’ Shena Mackay writes about the grit and grot of daily life like no other and this cover, from the 1968 Panther  paperback of her 1965 novel ‘Music Upstairs’, captures perfectly the everyday tedium of … Continue reading

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Something to look forward to…

Little Deaths – Emma Flint (Jan 12) It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew O'Hagan, Beth Underdown, Camille Paglia, Emma Flint, Gwendoline Riley, Hannah Kent, Ian Sansom, Jake Arnott, Louise Welsh, Ottessa Moshfegh, Shena Mackay | Leave a comment