Benares Memories

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Pankaj Mishra is known in this country as the messenger who first brought news of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, and as the author of penetrating literary essays in the New York Review of Books, the New Statesman and the TLS. As an essayist, Mishra is fastidious, his prose plain and precise, eschewing […]

Muslims in Willesden

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Such is the cult of the celebrity author in contemporary publishing that it is easy for a work of real talent to be smothered, or swept away altogether, by the tide of hype that inevitably surrounds the discovery of the latest bright young thing. Two years ago, when Zadie Smith was only twenty-two, her unfinished […]

Why Does She Turn Him into a Mackerel?

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

In many respects, Norwegian Linn Ullmann’s Before You Sleep is standard-issue: three Generations of Strong Scandinavian Women. Two sisters emigrate to America in the 1930s, where they both vie for fellow Norwegian Rikard Blom, whose star-struck infatuation with New York City is painfully familiar. One sister marries Rikard, by whom she has two daughters. When […]

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