Andrew Irwin

Time after Time

Sylvia

By

Daunt Books 131pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

It would be untrue to call Leonard Michaels’s Sylvia a pleasant book – set in 1960s New York, it tells the story of a young Jewish couple’s troubled relationship, from its beginning through to its highly unsettling end. And yet, without being pleasant, the book is invariably a pleasure to read. The prose is striking. For Michaels, the act of reading a newspaper evokes ‘The odour of fresh newsprint, an oily film on my fingertips, mixed with cigarette smoke and the taste of coffee. Pages turned and crackled like fire, or like breaking bones.’ New York is captured with the lyricism and energy of the era, as the author recounts its ‘visionary contagion’ and


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