Philip Womack

Tryst & Joust

The Ruby in Her Navel


Hamish Hamilton 327pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Barry Unsworth’s last novel, The Songs of the Kings, was an enchanting and vivid retelling of the myth of Iphigenia at Aulis, which, as all good refashionings should, added new layers of understanding. It suggested a world seething with conspiracy in which everything was deceptive. Living flesh was added to the bones of myth, making something startling and convincing. 

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

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,