A Realist With Wings

Posted on by David Gelber

In Margaret Atwood’s brilliant new novel of nineteenth-century Canada there is a character called Jeremiah, a pedlar, whose diverse and enticing wares are welcomed in almost any house. Some of his linens and ribbons are new, and some are what is now known as  ‘previously owned’, but all are crisp, fresh and desirable. The pedlar […]

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Doppelganger Problem

Posted on by David Gelber

Lord Lucan’s murder of his children’s nanny and his subsequent disappearance is one of the most rehashed fables of our times. Everyone has a pet theory, the most likely being that he drowned himself in the early hours of the morning after the debacle. The theory I like best, though, is my husband’s. He believes […]

God Sits on His Crane

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Recently there has been much discussion in the papers about the demise of the plot in modern novels. In its place, it is suggested, we are now given style, and a sort of clever knowingness. If there is any truth to this contention, then Muriel Spark’s Reality and Dreams is as fashionable as novels come. […]

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Old Stench of Death

Posted on by David Gelber

About a third of the way into Annie Proulx’s (the ‘E’ has gone, like so many of her characters, off over the horizon someplace) mesmerising collection of stories, eyebrows raised in the wake of some horrific tragedy or other, I started keeping a note of the variety of violent or otherwise ghastly deaths to be […]

Should Win the Prize

Posted on by David Gelber

There was a time when I feared that Alison Kennedy’s undoubted knack for whimsy might distract her from the growing strengths that make her like no other contemporary writer. But she has breasted the high seas of her talent and is now able to express the preoccupations that lie in the depths. The title story […]

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