Joanna Kavenna

Making It Whole

The Faraway Nearby

By

Granta Books 259pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Some of the most interesting contemporary authors are travelling existentialists – wanderers in thought who also physically wander, from Iain Sinclair to W G Sebald to Rebecca Solnit. In these days of publishing collapse and risk aversion, the journey or quest seems to soothe editorial anxieties about reason, plot and conveyable purpose, allowing the author to muse at will, to experiment with form and tempo, to elide fact and fiction. As Sinclair has an editor say at the beginning of Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, ‘Lit-fic’s a dead duck … Carry on with the same book but pepper it with real names, actual locations … We’ll squeeze you into the travel sections.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Tarantino's latest film is 'a fairy tale about Hollywood, where fantasy is an industrial product and the boulevards… ,
    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,