On my summer reading list:
Two hundred years ago Jane Austen left her house in Chawton for Winchester for medical treatment, where she died in July 1817.
This is the house where Jane Austen lived from 1809 to 1817. Here, she revised her earlier novels Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and saw them published. She wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion and began her last and uncompleted novel, Sanditon. Continue reading Jane Austen’s House Museum
‘In a way it’s easier to do a short thing, all in one flight that a novel. Novels are frightfully clumsy and overpowering of course; still if one could only get hold of them it would be superb. I daresay one ought to invent a completely new form.’ Virginia Woolf. Continue reading Two Stories: Virginia Woolf and Mark Haddon
‘Books are essentially a social medium’ we are told in the short story Mrs Bennet by Penelope Lively. If that is true (and I believe it is), then short stories are surely the most gregarious form of literature. Continue reading The Purple Swamp Hen And Other Stories by Penelope Lively
The fox in literature is a cunning creature of cleverness and wisdom. In his book ‘Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art’ Lewis Hyde observes the symbolism of the fox: ‘Folklore about foxes has it that a fox, pursued by the hounds, will sometimes run a distance and then double back on its own tracks; when the hounds come to the place where the fox turned they are flummoxed and wander around barking at one another.’ It is this pattern, sewn like layered stitches that ricochet back and forth that we see so expertly handled and tricksily explored in Paula Cocozza’s debut novel ‘How To Be Human’. Continue reading How To Be Human by Paula Cocozza Review
Tom Barren comes from the world we were supposed to have. One where if you have a black eye you have a home medical drone ice it; if you get a cut, medical technicians help you with skin-regeneration lamps; the streets are filled with buildings that are ‘encased in landscape emulators to give you the view you’d have if no other structures existed to block it’. But something goes wrong. Continue reading All Our Wrong Todays Review
‘First Love’ is about Neve, a writer in her mid-30s who is married to an older man named Edwyn, and it tells the story of what her life was like before. Continue reading First Love by Gwendoline Riley