Atonement, by Ian McEwan: fiction writing, an impossible expiation.

In the midst of a heat wave, during the summer 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony secretly witnesses a scene involving her older sister Cecilia, their childhood friend, Robbie, a fountain and near-nakedness. Unable to understand the signs of this scene, the little girl gives free rein to her wild imagination, convinces herself that she needs to protect her sister … Continue reading Atonement, by Ian McEwan: fiction writing, an impossible expiation.

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On Beauty, Zadie Smith: the conflicting ethics of beauty

It takes strong will, and frankly, stubbornness, to gulp down Zadie Smith like a mere soda, instead of sipping it like the fine wine it is. So it is that I didn't, in the end, "speed re-read" Zadie Smith as I had intended to, because On Beauty deserves more than that. Zadie Smith's third novel is set … Continue reading On Beauty, Zadie Smith: the conflicting ethics of beauty

Anatomy of a Soldier, Harry Parker: writing for re-humanising

[Version française ci-dessous] Reviewing Anatomy of a Soldier is something I have been postponing for months.  Harry Parker's first novel is a real little gem that I'm afraid to damage with a clumsy review. Rarely have I read something so delicately balanced between the horror of war and the poetry of its telling. The story is … Continue reading Anatomy of a Soldier, Harry Parker: writing for re-humanising