“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” ― Joyce Carol Oates

Frances and Bernard: a pitch-perfect love story in letters

When I read that the United States Postal Service recently issued a Flannery O’Connor stamp (June 5th), I was reminded of my literary defeat. Since her death, aged thirty nine, in 1964, O’Connor’s fame has steadily risen. People like Joyce Carol Oates, Bruce Springsteen and Donna Tartt love her. A North American university’s English Lit menu would be incom[...]

New Talent from the Australian Continent

Stolen Lucy Christopher Stolen is an intense adventure novel from Lucy Christopher. In an interview, the author said she wanted to write her first novel about the Great Sandy Desert in northern Western Australia. It is a place that both disturbs and draws her. She decided this desolate setting called for a "disturbing" situation: abduction. Stolen is wri[...]

Five Remarkable Fictional Mothers in Literature

It’s hard for me, Anna said. I could tell your mother anything. You can tell me anything, too, I said. No, you’re a man. It’s different. Yeah, I can tell you. But listening. You don’t hear what your mother heard. - THE MATHEMATICIAN'S SHIVA by Stuart Rojstaczer NORTH AND SOUTH Elizabeth Gaskell An icon of 19th century English literature, North an[...]

Invisible Cities

If beauty truly is a world forsaken, perhaps there is no clearer sign than in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. This work of Italy’s master storyteller is a rich collection of one-to-two-page short stories to be savoured like a box of turkish delights. It begins with a fantastic encounter between the Kublai Khan and Marco Polo, where the Khan challenges th[...]

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