Category Archives: Shena Mackay

Beautiful Books 16

‘Old Crow’ by Shena Mackay; Jonathan Cape 1967, Jacket Design by Bill Botten This wonderful cover perfectly sums up the off-kilter country life detailed within: the story of Coral Fairbrother’s descent from village beauty to reviled outcast, a fate cast … Continue reading

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The Voice in My Ear – Frances Leviston

The ten stories which make up the debut fiction collection from poet Frances Leviston each feature a protagonist called Claire, each unrelated, each bearing am unerring mirror to the relationship each has with her mother, or a mother figure, each … Continue reading

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Pant-wetting excitements for 2020

A the year draws full circle, I can’t help but look forward to see what pant-wetting excitements we have lined up for next year Ali Smith – Summer Of course, in July we have the final volume of Ali Smith’s ‘seasons’ … Continue reading

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My favourite 20th Century books…

This is just a silly list of some of my favourite 20th century books: some are seen as ‘important’, some as ‘classics’ but what binds them together is that over the years I have gained so much enjoyment and stimulation … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Bray, Angela Carter, Angus Wilson, Barbara Comyns, Camille Paglia, Delia Smith, Derek Jarman, Douglas Coupland, Edward Carpenter, Eleanor Graham, Gordon Burn, Jean Rhys, Joe Orton, John Kennedy Toole, John Waters, John Wyndham, Jonathan Coe, Katherine Mansfield, Kazuo Ishiguro, Kenneth Williams, Muriel Spark, nell dunn, Pat Barker, Shena Mackay, Virginia Woolf | Leave a comment

My favourite books of the 21st century, so far…

  Recently ‘The Guardian’ published a list of the ‘best’ books of the twenty first century so far. It got me to thinking and so here I present my own list. They may not be acknowledged ‘classics’ (though some are) … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Warner, Alexandra Harris, Ali Smith, Andrew O'Hagan, Camille Paglia, Claire Louise Bennett, Cristina Sanchez-Andrade, Elain Harwood, Garry Mulholland, Gwendoline Riley, Hallie Rubenhold, Han Kang, Jill Gardiner, John Grindrod, Julie Peakman, Kate Atkinson, Maggie Nelson, Michelle Paver, Nigella Lawson, Ottessa Moshfegh, Owen Hatherley, Philip Hensher, Sarah Waters, Shena Mackay, Zadie Smith | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Agatha Christie, Claire Louise Bennett, Elizabeth David, Gwendoline Riley, Merce Rodoreda, Music Time: Saint Etienne, Shena Mackay | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment