The immigrant experience in a North London estate

In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne Gunaratne’s novel was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, but sadly didn’t make the shortlist. It has now been shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize – an award that celebrates creatively daring fiction. Daring it is, for never have I read a book where the dialogue Read More

Catching up – Jan and Feb Book Group reviews

I thought it was time I started reviewing the books I’ve read this year, so today I’m catching up with our book group reads discussed in Jan and Feb. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis This was the first book I read this year, managing to squeeze it in just before we met a few days into January. Read More

The immigrants’ shattered American Dream…

Family Life by Akhil Sharma Imagine the excitement of going to America from Delhi to live. Even though life in India was comfortable and full of cricket, America is the dream destination for nine-year-old Ajay’s accountant father. First, his father went, found a job, set up home; then a year later, he sent one-way tickets Read More

Two novellas for WIT month

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang Translated by Chi-Young Kim, Illustrations by Nomoco This Korean novella has been a huge bestseller and it’s easy to see why. For a start, the cover is divine, the book is physically lovely with French flaps, and Nomoco’s illustrations preface each chapter. All that before you get Read More

Great Gatsby, it’s Gorsky!

Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy This novel, a bold reimagining of The Great Gatsby relocated to contemporary London, longlisted for this year’s Bailey’s Prize, has turned out to be a bit of a marmite novel. There are roughly three camps of thought about it: Those who love The Great Gatsby and loved what Goldsworthy has done with Gorsky. Those who love The Great Read More

“If a loving yuh looking for yuh buck upon the right one”

Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo. This novel has gone straight into my shortlist of books of the year – I loved every single page.  It is both hilariously funny yet compassionate and bittersweet, and eminently quotable. Meet sharp-suited seventy-four year old Barrington Jedidiah Walker, who emigrated from Antigua in the 1960s and has lived in Hackney Read More

3 from April 2011 Set in the USA – Waite – Millar – Kwok

The Terror of Living by Urban Waite – A fine backwoods thriller… It was the quote from Daniel Woodrell, an author of whom I’m a huge fan, on the cover that made me instantly want to read this book, a debut novel set in the backwoods border country near Seattle.  To all outward appearances it’s a crime thriller, Read More