Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet is set in the 1960s and consists of a fictional biography of Arthur Collins Braithwaite, a radical psychoanalyst with a practice based in north London, interweaved with notebooks written by one of his patients which have been purportedly “discovered” by her cousin and passed on to the author. The patient believes Braithwaite is responsible for the death of her elder sister, Veronica, and poses as Rebecca Smyth in order to find out more about him. As with the Booker Prize-shortlisted His Bloody Project, Burnet displays his impeccable narrative skill in presenting the story as authentic source material. There is plenty of satire in the depiction of Braithwaite’s rivalries with his contemporaries, reminiscent of the spoof biographies in Their Brilliant Careers by Ryan O’Neill, while pertinent questions about the nature of identity and reality are posed in “Rebecca’s” pursuit for answers. ‘Case Study’ is another outstanding novel by one of my must-read authors. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Hanya Yanagihara
‘The People in the Trees’ by Hanya Yanagihara tells the story of Norton Perina, a graduate of Harvard Medical School who accompanies Paul Tallent on an anthropological expedition to Ivu’ivu, a remote Micronesian island. During their travels in the 1950s, they come across a native tribe known as the Dreamers, a group of islanders who are well over a hundred years old after consuming the meat of a sacred turtle. The discovery and subsequent experiments win Norton a Nobel Prize but they also have serious consequences for the island and its inhabitants. Continue reading
This year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced today. The twenty novels are:A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett Ruby by Cynthia Bond The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott The Green Road by Anne Enright The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy The Anatomist’s Dream by Clio Gray At Hawthorn Time by Melissa Harrison Pleasantville by Attica Locke The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie Girl at War by Sara Nović The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara has been talked about as one of the novels of the year, if not the decade. On Wednesday night, Yanagihara appeared at Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London in conversation with Cathy Rentzenbrink, the Associate Editor of The Bookseller, to talk about her astonishing second novel.