Category Archives: fiction

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa (translated by Margaret Jull Costa)

I started reading The Book of Disquiet during that very quiet, reflective period immediately after Christmas and it was both the perfect and the worst time to start it. Perfect because I was in exactly the right frame of mind … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, memoir, outwith, translation | 6 Comments

The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (translated by Edward G. Seidensticker)

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki is a writer I associate very strongly with a kind of claustrophobic, highly charged, erotic, chaotic, madcap kind of fiction. I’ve read both Diary of a Mad Old Man and The Key and both novels are quite similar … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, fiction, Japanese | 4 Comments

Dreaming of Babylon by Richard Brautigan

I was searching for a gift for a friend in my local branch of Waterstones when I noticed the shiny new versions of Richard Brautigan’s books, gorgeously packaged by Canongate, looking shiny and new and very impressive on the shelf. … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | 2 Comments

Mokusei! A Love Story by Cees Nooteboom (translated by Adrienne Dixon)

I have never really been able to explain what it is that I love about the work of Cees Nooteboom, it falls into the genre of those things which evoke an inexplicable feeling, something so nebulous and delicate that I … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, translation | 6 Comments

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

I first hear of Sylvia Townsend Warner when David Mitchell (who I adore) named her book The Corner That Held Them as one of his favourite books of all time. This was some time ago and I never got around … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, fiction, gender | 9 Comments

Selected Stories by Alice Munro

I don’t like short story collections. I tell myself this all the time. I have a bunch of short story collections in my library and every time I think about picking one up my mind goes ‘ugh’ and I think … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, short stories | 9 Comments

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker

Nicola Barker is never predictable, or, wait a minute, that’s not quite true. Nicola Barker is predictable in her unpredictability, the unusualness of her work, the sheer blinding extraordinariness of it. You never really know what to expect. Consequently there … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | 6 Comments