Category Archives: fiction

The Ideal Reader book 9: The Story of the Stone by Cao Xuequin volume 1 (translated by David Hawkes)

The Story of the Stone, perhaps more recognisably known as The Dream of the Red Chamber, is an epic work of Chinese fiction, my copy in five volumes weighing in at a massive 2480 pages long. I bought it ages ago … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Classics, Epic, fiction, The Ideal Reader, translation | 3 Comments

The Ideal Reader Book 5: The Three-cornered World by Natsume Soseki (translated by Alan Turney)

“I wonder how it would be if, while I am on this short journey, I were to regard events as though they were part of the action of a Noh play, and the people I meet merely as if they … Continue reading

Posted in Art, fiction, Japanese, The Ideal Reader | 11 Comments

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

It’s felt like a long time since I’ve been able to absorb myself in a lengthy book. My reading recently has been fitful and focused; a tight, sharp jab at something specific, not without reward but lacking in patience. This … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, nature, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Angel Esmeralda, Nine Stories by Don DeLillo

Yes, yes. I know I’ve just read one book by DeLillo and here I am reading another one. The thing is, I was reading something else – something all delicate and thoughtful and gorgeously restrained and while I was reading … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | 4 Comments

Point Omega by Don DeLillo

“The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever. The true life takes place when we’re alone, thinking, feeling, lost in memory, dreamingly self-aware, the submicroscopic moments.” Point Omega is one of DeLillo’s odd … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | 6 Comments

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