FANTASTIC FICTION – Escapes to other places and other times

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson (Appreciation: Marilynne Robinson, Novelist and Essayist, is an American Original — The National Book Review) is an American novelist and essayist. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, National Humanities Medal in 2012, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Robinson began teaching at the Iowa […]

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Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry is an Irish writer born in 1969. He is the author of three collections of short stories and three novels. City of Bohane was the winner of the 2013 International Dublin Literary Award. Beatlebone won the 2015 Goldsmiths Prize. This 2019 novel, Night Boat to Tangier, was longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. Barry is also an editor of Winter Papers, an arts and culture annual.

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The Long Take by Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson (Robin Robertson – Poet) was brought up on the north-east coast of Scotland. After taking degrees in Scotland and Canada he moved to London to work in publishing, for Penguin, Secker & Warburg and Jonathan Cape. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Robertson’s books of poetry are A Painted Field (1997), Slow Air (2002), Swithering (2006), The Wrecking

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

American novelist Dan Mallory (a.k.a. A. J. Finn) ( has a complex relationship with the truth according to recent reports. This notoriety has not prevented his 2018 thriller ‘The Woman in the Window’ becoming a bestseller. Thrillers have the capacity to absorb our attention, allowing us to forget, temporarily, the grim details of everyday life.

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Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger

Nell Freudenberger ( is a young novelist from New York, living in Brooklyn. Her fiction has been receiving much praise recently. You may wish to see if the Lanark cognoscenti think it’s justified.   Her 2019 novel Lost and Wanted is a thoughtful and entertaining tale about friendship, and the forces which both bind and

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Jessica’s Girl by Josephine Cox

Josephine Cox ( has a lot to smile about. Having sold over 15 million copies of her heartwarming fiction, this saga author has made a fortune and brought joy to countless readers.(   Many believe the acme of her artistic achievement to have been Jessica’s Girl (1993), a novel of such staggeringly formulaic conformity as

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Familiar genres of fiction such as historical, adventure, romance, and crime are being supplemented by new categories. This is presumably because there is no escape from the marketing drive towards ‘product development’, nor an end to the ceaseless human desire for novelty. Recent examples have been ‘chick lit’ to satisfy young female interest, and ‘misery

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The Wych Elm by Tana French

Sometimes a modern fiction title emerges which generates more than the standard publisher hype. Some alchemy is at work in the application of critical appraisal upon popular taste and word-of-mouth recommendation. With the title’s reputation established, literary types suffer unease, if not shame, for having not read these acclaimed works. Examples are: Orlando (1928) by

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