Kathryn Hughes

The Importance of Autumn

What used to be called ‘the publishing year’ has pretty much dissolved into fifty-two weeks that look and sound the same. Books come out all year round now, even in January and August, which used to be as quiet and still as the grave. Key biographies by heavyweight authors these days make their appearance in spring, when the shops are crammed with Easter eggs. Look, for instance, at the timing of the publication of Hilary Spurling’s life of Matisse: the first volume came out in autumn 1998, but the second, The Conquest of Colour, was published in March this year, when there was still snow on the ground. In much the same way, Julian Barnes’s breakthrough book of 1984, Flaubert’s Parrot, was a muffler-wearing October title, while his latest novel, Arthur & George, arrived wearing its swimming trunks this July.

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? ,