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LITERARY BENT - Writing at its best

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood (http://margaretatwood.ca/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Atwood) has been much in the news for her latest book ‘The Testaments’, the joint winner of The Man Booker Prize 2019. If you are new to this top rank author, I’d recommend  Atwood at the height of her powers in her 1996 novel ‘Alias Grace’.   There’s nothing like the spectacle of […]

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LITERARY BENT - Writing at its best

Middlesex

Long on the ‘to do’ list for reading fiction, I’m delighted to have completed Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/oct/06/fiction.impacprize) over the Easter break 2018. An American novelist and short story writer, Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for this novel in 2003.   Not many multi-generational American novels are narrated by an omniscient hermaphrodite. Cal […]

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LITERARY BENT - Writing at its best

Bel Canto

Long on the ‘to do’ reading list, I’m delighted finally to have read Bel Canto (2001) by Ann Patchett (http://www.annpatchett.com/) this Easter 2018. The novel was awarded both the Orange Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.   In December 1996, 14 members of the Tupac Amaru guerrilla group entered the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Lima, Peru, […]

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LITERARY BENT - Writing at its best

Confabulations

John Berger (5 November 1926 – 2 January 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/30/john-berger-at-90-interview-storyteller) was an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. His essay on art criticism, Ways of Seeing (1972), was written as an accompaniment to a BBC series intended as a response to the broadcast of ‘Civilisation’ by Kenneth Clark. It has been highly influential, and often prescribed […]

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LITERARY BENT - Writing at its best

Invisible Cities

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italo_Calvino) describes Venice in the guise of a succession of 55 exotic and remote cities. It is an elegy placed in the mouth of Venetian traveller Marco Polo as he converses with emperor Kublai Khan.   Venice is disguised as the city of ‘Hypatia’, where you expect to find beauty but […]