Joanna Kavenna

Schrödinger’s Plot

Caroline’s Bikini

By

Faber & Faber 335pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Why write? We might counter this question with a further question: ‘Why do anything (except to earn enough money to survive)?’ or – with thanks to Albert Camus – ‘Why live when you just die in the end anyway?’ Nonetheless, the question ‘Why write?’ is pertinent enough for those who do write, or would like to write if they were able to spend less time earning sufficient money to survive. George Orwell both posed and answered this question in a famous essay, ‘Why I Write’. (His reasons included ‘sheer egoism’, ‘aesthetic enthusiasm’, ‘historical impulse’ and ‘political purpose’.) For contemporary authors, the dilemma is further compounded by the much-vaunted ‘death of the novel’, as well as ‘the death of books of any sort’ and ‘the death of words in general’.

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

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,