Diana Athill’s After a Funeral details her experience of being friends with a man who is profoundly destructive both to himself and to everyone around him.
What constitutes an easy death? Or a difficult one? Though her mother’s death was considered ‘easy’ by doctors, it still involved pain, suffering, and turmoil.
He details stories that float around the county, amongst the men working the fields, and also the stories that women trade while they sew around the dining room table and children play around their feet. Those stories mark time. They are shared county history.
he doesn’t shy away from what happened to her, but neither does she use it to shock the reader. Instead, she writes of the horror with blunt honesty, and brutality tempered with careful sentence level consideration and a language that is powerful, yet never gratuitous.
Her style is simple and direct. It speaks to the reader in a very distinct way. When you read her prose, it’s like Didion is sitting across from you in a sitting room late at night, talking about things that people often find difficult to speak about.
Orwell and the Dispossessed takes the reader beyond 1984 and Animal Farm and emphasizes that Orwell was a diverse and talented writer that had a lot to say and cut the reader to core at the same time as making them think.
Chapters, paragraphs, sentences, and words flow into each other, but at the same time there are images and concepts that stand out and become touchstones for the work as a whole. This is a review of Tove Ditlevsen’s The Copenhagen Trilogy.
This is a book that primarily about people and about parties, with descriptions of them that are at once acidic and amusing, and can also be seen as an extensive critique of English society at this moment in history. This is a review of Elias Canetti’s Party in the Blitz (Party im Blitz).
These novels aren’t exactly ‘novels’ per se, in the sense that they are not traditionally structured narratives. Instead, they are more of a collection of stories about rural life in the later nineteenth century. This is a review of Flora Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford.