Book Review — The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) by Anne Brontë

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. I haven’t read many English novels from the mid-19th century. I’ve never read a work by Dickens, for instance, although others come to mind: George Eliot (Silas … Continue reading Book Review — The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) by Anne Brontë

Book Review — The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. There is a moment in most readers’ lives that changes the way they think of first-person narrators: the moment they’re introduced to the idea of an unreliable one. (The … Continue reading Book Review — The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt

Book Review — The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. When I first read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) in 2014, I put it down feeling that I’d been done a disservice. Not by Woolf – … Continue reading Book Review — The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

Book Review — The Autograph Man (2002) by Zadie Smith

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. Unsympathetic male characters have never been a great draw for me. Making them intelligent, stupid, anarchic, suburban, idiosyncratic, neurotic, eccentric, romantic – it never really makes a … Continue reading Book Review — The Autograph Man (2002) by Zadie Smith

Book Review — The Watch Tower (1966) by Elizabeth Harrower

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. Until last year, The Watch Tower (1966) was Elizabeth Harrower’s last book. She attempted to write another, abandoned the project and retired from writing permanently. Then, in 2014, after producing a new … Continue reading Book Review — The Watch Tower (1966) by Elizabeth Harrower

Two hundred words on a shot that rang out ::

A shot rang out. Blanks, thought Detective Hunt, the thought proving to him twice over in a single instant that he was still alive. First in the realisation’s presence in his mind. His mind was still equipping itself for business. Second in the fact within the realisation. The blanks Espinosa had subbed into Griggs’ gun had rendered his execution stayed. And yet, when Hunt raised his gun with the … Continue reading Two hundred words on a shot that rang out ::

Thomas Mann (1875-1955), on the Purpose of Art ::

Do you think gaudy colours can gloss over the misery of the world? Do you think loud orgies of good taste can drown the moans of the tortured earth? … Art is the sacred torch that must shed its merciful light into all life’s terrible depths, into every shameful and sorrowful abyss; art is the divine flame that must set fire to the world, until … Continue reading Thomas Mann (1875-1955), on the Purpose of Art ::