Tag Archives: Literature

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13 Jon McGregor‘Reservoir 13’ by Jon McGregor begins with the disappearance of Rebecca Shaw, a thirteen-year-old girl who goes missing while on holiday with her family in the Peak District in the early 2000s. In the years that pass following her disappearance, the various residents of the small rural village get on with their lives, but the mystery of what happened to Rebecca continues to have an impact on the tight-knit community. Continue reading



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Women Who Blow on Knots by Ece Temelkuran

Women Who Blow On Knots Ece TemelkuranTranslated from the Turkish by Alexander Dawe, ‘Women Who Blow on Knots’ by Ece Temelkuran won the Edinburgh First Book Award earlier this year and I bought my copy during my visit to the city last summer. It tells the story of four women embarking on a road trip across North Africa from Tunisia to Lebanon during the Arab Spring. They are Tunisian activist and dancer Amira, Egyptian academic Maryam who is obsessed with Dido, Queen of Carthage, an unnamed Turkish journalist who narrates the story and the mysterious elderly Madam Lilla who has connections with the Russian mafia and intelligence agencies. It is Madam Lilla who invites the three women to accompany her on the trip although her real intentions for travelling to Lebanon only become clear much later. Continue reading


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The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2017: Shadow Panel Winner and a Giveaway

And the shadow panel winner is…

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico!

Young Writer of the Year Award Shadow Panel Winner

The overall shortlist was very strong indeed and I enjoyed reading all of the books by five very talented writers. However, we were particularly impressed with the exceptional skill and creativity Pachico demonstrated in her ambitious debut collection of interlinked short stories. The Lucky Ones is a worthy shadow panel winner but we’ll have to wait until Thursday 7th December to see who will win the overall prize. Continue reading


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The Lauras by Sara Taylor

The Lauras Sara TaylorFollowing her debut ‘The Shore’ which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015, Sara Taylor has been nominated again for the same prize with her second novel ‘The Lauras’. I read it several months ago before the shortlist was announced but didn’t have enough time to review it, so I have revisited it this week ahead of our shadow panel meeting on Friday when we will choose our winner. ‘The Lauras’ is a road trip novel in which Ma and thirteen-year-old Alex leave their home and Alex’s father behind in Virginia and travel across North America visiting five places which all hold some significance in Ma’s past. Ma attempts to track down a friend from each of these places, all of whom are called Laura and were an important part of Ma’s life at the time. Continue reading

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The Evenings by Gerard Reve

The Evenings Gerard Reve‘The Evenings’ by Gerard Reve has been hailed as a “postwar masterpiece” and “the best Dutch novel of all time” but has only recently been translated by Sam Garrett and published in the UK for the first time by Pushkin Press late last year, nearly seven decades after it was first printed in the Netherlands. It tells the story of Frits van Egters, a 23-year-old clerk living with his parents in Amsterdam who struggles to fill his non-working hours with anything meaningful, spending his evenings walking past the canals, seeking out conversation with his small group of friends including his brother Joop.
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The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award Shortlist 2017

Young Writer Award Shortlist 2017The PFD Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award shortlist for 2017 has been announced today. This year, the official judges have selected five books rather than four and they are:

Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman by Minoo Dinshaw (biography)
The End of the Day by Claire North (novel)
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico (short stories)
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (novel)
The Lauras by Sara Taylor (novel) Continue reading


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The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2017 Shadow Panel

Young Writer of the Year Shadow Panel

I am very pleased to be on the official shadow panel for this year’s Young Writer of the Year Award (sponsored by the Sunday Times, Peters Fraser + Dunlop in association with Warwick University), along with four brilliant book bloggers: Rebecca at Bookish Beck, Annabel at annabookbel, Dane at Social Bookshelves and Eleanor at Elle Thinks.

The £5,000 prize is open to UK and Irish writers aged 35 or under for a work of fiction, poetry or non-fiction of outstanding literary merit. It was relaunched in 2015 following a hiatus since 2009 and past winners include Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters, Naomi Alderman and Francis Spufford. Continue reading


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