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 [...]

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler, Redhead on the Side of the Road (Chatto & Windus: 2020, 9781784743475) Meet Micah Mortimer, a Baltimore middle-aged man, caretaker of his building, and founder and single employee of Tech Hermit, a tech help business. He follows a rigid routine which includes running (in cutoffs or jeans) every morning and performing meticulously scheduled [...]

First Lines Wednesday – This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

First Lines Wednesday – This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

Edited by Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, Jon Stallworthy, The Norton Anthology of Poetry (W. W. Norton & Company: 2005, 9780393979206) This Is Just To Say I have eatenthe plumsthat were inthe icebox and whichyou were probablysavingfor breakfast Forgive methey were deliciousso sweetand so cold First Lines Wednesday – Plums are the new apples? Is [...]

First Lines Wednesday – My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

First Lines Wednesday – My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer (Atlantic Books: 2018, 9781786495976) “WORDS Ayoola summons me with these words – Korede, I killed him. I had hoped I would never hear those words again. BLEACH I bet you didn’t know that bleach masks the smell of blood. Most people use bleach indiscriminately, assuming it is a [...]

First Lines Wednesday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

First Lines Wednesday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics: 2006, 9780141441146) "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, [...]