Literary Fiction

Ahead of his latest novel The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, Tom Rachman’s debut, The Imperfectionists, about people reading and writing for an international newspaper in Rome, gets a New Zealand release. The Imperfectionists is a series of portraits that follow characters from the mid-20th Century onwards; that range from the mansions of the… Read More

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair has got a lot of attention for the bidding war between publishers that it has provoked. The novel has been translated into 32 languages and won three French literary prizes, and it’s certainly not a surprise that publishers saw that they had a hit on their hands. Originally… Read More

A man and boy arrive by boat to a new land. At the immigration camp they are taught Spanish and arrive at their new town. The authorities guess their ages and give them names, and the man begins his search for the boy’s mother. The Childhood of Jesus, by J. M. Coetzee, is a curious… Read More

There’s something very indulgent about upper-class English humour: when it’s done properly its entirely inconsequential, and absolutely aware of that. Edward St. Aubyn’s satirical novel Lost for Words, which follows a panel of judges for a fictional version of the Booker prize, is light, easy to read and completely aware of its lack of consequence… Read More

A charming, “lost novella” from the beloved Beat writer. Rather than just a novella, editor and English professor Tietchen presents a volume featuring part one of the novel that Kerouac had planned, complete with sketches and notes for the rest of the novel. The narrative establishes the protagonist Peter whiling away a Summer in his… Read More

“Why do you want to be a lobby boy?” “Who wouldn’t – at the Grand Budapest, sir?” The epitome of excellence, the Grand Budapest Hotel presides in the mountains of Zubrowka, a fictional country that could be anywhere in Eastern Europe. Guests are exotic, eccentric and as grand as the hotel itself as they unwind… Read More

The path that Kerouac travelled during his counter-cultural bible, On The Road, has been well-worn by fans, filmmakers and critics from the 1960s onwards. Having never really caught the buzz myself (I appreciate Kerouac as a writer, but not as an idol), I approached Webb-Pullman’s Looking for Kerouac with trepidation. What I found was a… Read More

So, Christmas has left us with the traditional slump into ill-advised resolutions about the gym, shunning chocolate for sultanas, or whatever nonsense January seems to dictate. In the spirit of self-improvement – and not involving potentially failing a diet – a few modern classics between missed yoga lessons is definitely advised. Particularly recommended for the summer, and the festive comedown, is… Read More

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