Christopher Hart

Heart And Seoul

The Red Queen: A Transcultural Tragicomedy


Viking 256pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

MARGARET DRABBLE’S THE Red Queen is set half in eighteenth-century Korea, and half in the twenty-first century world of ‘overwhelming global muddle’. There is then an epilogue which is set, archly, in ‘Postmodern Times’. Subtitled a ‘transcultural tragicomedy’, and 111 of wry wit rather than outright comedy, and sad irony rather than true tragedy, it is a complex, deeply satisfying novel about death and rebirth, memory and immortality. It is also richly and surprisingly sensuous – especially its first half, an exotic, historical journey through a seductive and alien landscape.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The 25th Bad Sex in Fiction is happening in a week. There’s a press release if you’re the sort of person who wants a press release ,
    • sorry I can’t spell fluttering. I was agitated.,
    • Probably try and get an announcement out later, for all these male writers who think of fluttering inner muscle sheaths...,
    • He felt the muscles far inside her flutteriung around him,
    • Next week sees return, and we've got discounted tickets on offer, right here: ,
    • We're rarely topical - tricky as a monthly magazine - but we've an article this month all about Laurence Binyon, po… ,
    • "We will remember them" - who wrote those words, and why have them become our terms of memorial? ,