White Teeth, by Zadie Smith: fundamental interrogations on the fundamentals

I think it is a secret for no one here that I love Zadie Smith. I admire her wit, her style, her sense of humour, her cleverness and sagacity. I'm in awe at the fact that she began her career as a writer in her early twenties, and that her first novel, White Teeth,  was none … Continue reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith: fundamental interrogations on the fundamentals

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead: a long walk to freedom?

One has to brace oneself before reading The Underground Railroad. Like all books on slavery, this novel painfully recreates the worst acts of violence committed by slavers, slave-owners and slave catchers. After each book on slavery, you think that you've read the worse of what the worst humans are capable of, but then another book pops up … Continue reading The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead: a long walk to freedom?

The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton: portrait of an avid and dangerously beautiful woman

"Even now, however, she was not always happy. She had everything she wanted, but still she felt, at times, that there were other things she might want if she knew about them." The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton. Here are described Undine Spragg's insatiable desires, extending their claws of avidity towards things she cannot … Continue reading The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton: portrait of an avid and dangerously beautiful woman

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.