A recent article in The Bookseller talked about the importance of regional publishers, and the impossibility of dragging the London publishing companies and agents out of their self-determined comfort zone (I looked for it for ages and couldn't find it, will post it if I do). The Bookseller also this year established its inaugural Regional … Continue reading A list of non-London novels
Does the world need a new biography of John Buchan? There have been three so far: a very thin and respectful one written a few years after his 1940 death, in an atmosphere of sincere grief and hagiography. Then there was Janet Adam Smith's 1965 biography, invited and facilitated by the family, which was the … Continue reading Ursula Buchan, Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps
HERE BE SPOILERS. Avengers: Endgame is not a film you can talk about in detail without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, so please don't read on if you get upset by spoilers. I MEAN IT. I don't yet know if I liked the whole film or not. I was very bored in … Continue reading Avengers: Endgame.
Alice thrust this novel into my hands as I began running for my train, since we'd spent too long talking in a café after meeting up in person again after almost eight years. We had become friends in Brussels fifteen years ago or so, where I was an editor and she was a novelist, and … Continue reading Alice Jolly, Between the Regions of Kindness
I found this book of travel writing about the south-west of mid-1950s USA in The Second Shelf, a new antiquarian bookshop in London specialising in works by women. This was only the second book (partly) by a man I've seen there (the other was a lesbian pulp novel apparently written by a man with a … Continue reading J B Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes, Journey Down a Rainbow
This is the third in a series (but not necessarily a sequence) of novels about humans who fled a dying Earth and lived for centuries in their spaceships, looking for a new home. The first novel, The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet, takes place on a spaceship, and the second, A Closed and … Continue reading Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few
This novel by Trifonia Melibea Obono (a most beautiful name for a writer, or anyone) is from Equatorial Guinea, and is apparently the first from that country to be translated into English. Lawrence Schimel, a prolific Spanish-English translator and author, has done an impeccable job of effacing his translator's presence by presenting the story's complex … Continue reading La Bastarda