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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

Cherie Jones, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (Tinder Press: 2021, 9781472268778) How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones is set in the mid-1980s in the fictional Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, where luxury holiday villas skirt the paradisiacal beach and intrude on the local community that is afflicted by poverty and violence. [...]

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom (Penguin: 2020, 9780241988664) In Ya Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom our narrator, Gifty, is nearing the completion of her neuroscience PhD at Stanford University where she researches “the neural circuits of reward-seeking behaviour.” Her routine is interrupted when her mother, who suffers from severe depression, comes to stay, bringing the past to the [...]

Summer by Ali Smith

Summer by Ali Smith

Ali Smith, Summer (Hamish Hamilton: 2020, 9780241207062) And so Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet comes to an end. Smith’s project begun in 2016, with Autumn, and since then she has published one book a year, tackling the mess we have all been going through or witnessing over the past few years: Brexit, xenophobia, misogyny, climate change, [...]

The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Ashley Audrain, The Push (Michael Joseph: 2021, 9780241434550) Blythe comes from a line of neglectful, abusive mothers. She seems to more or less have made peace with her background but it comes back to haunt her when her picture-perfect-obsessed husband decides they need a baby. She knows he expects her to be the perfect wife [...]

First Lines Wednesday – Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

First Lines Wednesday – Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name (Atlantic Books: 2007, 9781786495259) " 'Later!' The word, the voice, the attitude. I'd never heard anyone use "later" to say goodbye before. It sounded harsh, curt, and dismissive, spoken with the veiled indifference of people who may not care to see or hear from you again. It is [...]

First Lines Wednesday – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

First Lines Wednesday – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot, Collected Poems, 1909-62 (Faber & Faber: 1963, 9780571055494) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Let us go then, you and I,When the evening is spread out against the skyLike a patient etherized upon a table;Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,The muttering retreatsOf restless nights in one-night cheap hotelsAnd sawdust restaurants [...]