Allen Ginsberg’s Iron Curtain Journals, reviewed by Marc Olmsted

Iron Curtain Journals (January-May 1965) by Allen Ginsberg, edited by Michael Schumacher / University of Minnesota Press / Iron Curtain Journals covers a particularly interesting slice of time in Allen Ginsberg’s writing, Jan.-May 1965, anticipated by 1961’s “Prose Contribution to the Cuban Revolution,” and bracketing the creation of the major poems “Kral Majales” and “Who…

The Wellcome Book Prize Longlist 2019

February 10, 2019 · 6:41 pm The 12 books longlisted for this year’s Wellcome Book Prize are: Amateur by Thomas Page McBeeAstroturf by Matthew SperlingEducated by Tara WestoverFreshwater by Akwaeke EmeziHeart: A History by Sandeep JauharMind on Fire by Arnold Thomas FanningMurmur by Will EavesMy Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa MoshfeghPolio: The Odyssey…

Celebrating 100 Years of Muriel Spark

August 5, 2018 · 2:41 pm 2018 marks the centenary of Muriel Spark’s birth and I have recently read her autobiography ‘Curriculum Vitae’ and one of her most famous novels ‘The Driver’s Seat’ which was first published in 1970. The main protagonist, Lise, is in her mid-thirties and is unhappy with her dead-end job. She…

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

September 2, 2018 · 3:24 pm Translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori, ‘Convenience Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata tells the story of Keiko Furukura, a socially awkward woman in her mid-thirties who has been working at the Hiiromachi Station Smile Mart shop for the past eighteen years. She feels under pressure from others,…

Normal People by Sally Rooney

September 9, 2018 · 3:48 pm ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney tells the story of teenagers Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron who go to school together in the small rural town of Carricklea in the west of Ireland and later move to Dublin to study at Trinity College in the early 2010s. Marianne is a…

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