D J Taylor

Where Mischief Starts

Magic Seeds

By

Picador 294pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

ABOUT FIVE YEARS ago I had the pleasure of spending three days at an Italian literary festival in the company of the greatest living British writer. ‘Sir Naipaul’, as our hosts somewhat nervously referred to him, was clearly determined to enjoy himself. He came dressed in a thick, well-cut suit and wearing a trilby hat (the temperature in the hills above Turin was in the 80s), was politely exigent about translators, transport and diet, and delivered a memorable demolition of the entire Castilian literary tradition in the presence of at least one Spanish-speaking novelist. It was a consummate dramatic performance and I enjoyed myself no end.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,