In Graham Swift’s Waterland, a young historian absorbed by the history and mystery of the Fens finds himself faced with the question of how history differs from story-telling and legend. Swift’s precision as a writer enables him to treat each strand of the question separately and yet do justice to the whole.
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'She digs her images into her story, so that they blow up like psychic land mines when the reader’s perception brushes against them.'
Hilary Mantel reviewing Margaret Atwood: a #BookerPrize double-header from the archive.
In Ali Smith's "Summer", 'the coronavirus pandemic has arrived. Lockdown happens too. There are allusions to Black Lives Matter, to online abuse and radicalisation, to things so recently news that it feels shocking to find them in a novel.'
'Stevenson told W E Henley, the model for Long John Silver, it was "going to shoot up and become a star". Alas, it fizzled out like a cheap firework, as many of his projects had a tendency to do.'
Alan Taylor looks at the greatest novels never written.