Ever since the United States assumed the mantle ‘leader of the free world’, in the acrid carnage of the Second World War, there has been a debate as to whether America is an empire in all but name, as Great Britain, France or even that mother of all empires, ancient Rome, had been before. If you look at Europe and NATO, at the World Bank and the IMF, there is no clear, irrefutable answer.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'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.