By |2018-11-22T18:12:07+00:00November 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

I wrote this piece not long after my husband, Ken, died in 2016. Earlier this year I submitted it to the Timeless Wisdom International Writing Challenge sponsored by Exisle Publishing. It has been chosen to be published in the book, Love and Loss, a collection of short stories to be published in April 2020. Check it out on [...]

Week 75: Get Shorty and the 10 Rules of Writing

By |2018-11-20T15:21:48+00:00November 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Get Shorty and the 10 Rules of Writing Elmore Leonard, who died at the age of 87, was one of the most visual writers America has produced. It's no wonder that 26 of his novels and short stories have been adapted for the screen. He had a deceptively simple style that brought his characters [...]

Week 74: Mother’s Milk by Edward St. Aubyn

By |2018-11-13T14:03:20+00:00November 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Mother's Milk book review Patrick Melrose is a well-born, forty-something London barrister who, having burned through his inheritance, is now reduced to having to work for a living. Married with two young sons, Melrose is what is commonly called a "survivor", although his actual survival is frequently in doubt. As a young child he [...]

Week 73: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth

By |2018-11-06T13:59:02+00:00November 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

White Teeth book review Back in December 2000, a few months after Zadie Smith's first novel was published, winning the Whitbread award, nominated for the Orange prize, thrusting her into the media spotlight, The Guardian's Simon Hattenstone interviewed her at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) where she was writer-in-residence. Hattenstone began by informing [...]

Week 72: Michael Cunningham’s The Hours

By |2018-10-30T11:46:13+00:00October 30th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Hours book review I'm not sure it's possible to find any kind of weakness in Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. As a work of fiction, it's as perfect in its way as anything I've ever read. And it proves, if it needed proving, that a book does not have to take up a [...]

Week 70: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

By |2018-10-20T21:31:00+00:00October 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man book review Pity the poor reviewers when James Joyce burst onto the scene with A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was 1916, and even his most sympathetic critics, while admitting the book was well-written and the dialogue superb, were confused by the [...]

Week 68: Lolita – the erotic novel that isn’t

By |2018-10-02T15:21:31+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Lolita book review In his otherwise self-serving piece in Harper's, the disgraced American broadcaster John Hockenberry says one thing I agree with entirely: "I feel absolutely certain that Lolita would never be published today". No, it probably wouldn't. This is, after all, a book about a middle-aged man raping an adolescent girl. Several times [...]

Week 67: J. D. Salinger’s Glass menagerie

By |2018-09-25T10:52:24+00:00September 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Franny and Zooey book review In his dedication at the beginning of Franny and Zooey, J. D. Salinger appeals to William Shawn, his "editor, mentor, and (heaven help him) closest friend", to accept this "pretty skimpy-looking book". It is, in fact, rather skimpy, being a short story and novella under one cover. Both appeared [...]