Reviewer: AF

By this author

Books March 03, 2018

The Lebs

The education of the artist, especially if that artist is a young male, is the perennial grass of the literary field: a yearly recurrence, reassuring if often a little dull. Must we really hear again of the sensitive soul who finds himself in a homosocial …

Books December 23, 2017

Best Books of 2017 #2

Bernard MacLaverty is an author who refuses to reserve the glories of his prose only for dramatic subjects or events. A trip to the toilet, a sip of whisky, airport departure lounges: everything is noticed, respected, attended to. The local result is …

Books December 24, 2016

Books 2016 #1

Reviewers' picks from the year in print.

Books April 23, 2016

Zero K

[TOC:ul In this story] It is the fate of Don DeLillo to have written long enough and well enough for his style to become a template. Like Hemingway, or Cormac McCarthy, his voice elicits more than mere admiration but has become the stuff of parody. Calibrated …

Books March 19, 2016

The Painted Ocean

[TOC:ul In this story] Shruti is 11 years old when her father walks out on the family, never to return. She is left behind with a mother who speaks no English, in a town where she is the only South Asian girl at school. Her mother works from home, making …

Books February 06, 2016

The Noise of Time

[TOC:ul In this story] Originally The Noise of Time was the title of a series of autobiographical sketches by Russian-Jewish poet Osip Mandelstam – and Mandelstam, who came of age in the early days of the revolution, stands high in the martyrology …

Books January 23, 2016

Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

[TOC:ul In this story] James Baldwin’s essay collection Notes of a Native Son slaughters a number of sacred cows, but none so sacrosanct as Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In a 1949 piece entitled “Everybody’s protest novel”, the writer …

Books December 19, 2015

Books 2015 #1

Reviewers' picks from the year in print. Best New Talent, Guilty Pleasure, Most Overrated, Most Disappointing.

Books December 12, 2015

The Little Red Chairs

[TOC:ul In this story] Critic V. S. Pritchett once described Dostoevsky’s incorrigibly voluble characters as having souls that loll from their mouths like tongues. Edna O’Brien’s new novel – the 17th in a career that spans half a century and …