Fiction Reviews

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Blasts from the Past: So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell (1979)

This is the latest in a series of occasional posts featuring books I read years ago about which I was wildly enthusiastic at the time, wanting to press a copy into as many hands as I could. I’m not sure if all editors make fine writers but William Maxwell’s prose exemplifies the elegant, clean, quietly …

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Cover image for The Family Clause by Jonas Hassen Khemiri

The Family Clause by Jonas Hassen Khemiri (transl. Alison Menzies): What Larkin said

Two things drew me to Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s The Family Clause: I’d enjoyed his previous novel, Everything I Don’t Remember, back in 2016, and the blurb sounded tempting with its promise of chaotic and discordant family life. I’d been expecting a fairly straightforward linear narrative but that’s not Khemiri’s style. This everyday tale of a …

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Cover image for The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams

The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams: ’The action of telling lies in an artful way’

I remember Eley Williams’ collection of short stories, Attrib, being garlanded with praise from all sorts of people whose opinions I trust back in 2017 when it was published. I’ve no idea why I didn’t get around to reading it, being well over my short story aversion by then, particularly as its themes seem to …

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Cover image for Belladona by Anbara Salam

Belladonna by Anbara Salam: ‘Sometimes love isn’t enough’

I’m a sucker for covers that fit their books well. When I spotted Anbara Salam’s Belladonna on Twitter, it was that strikingly evocative jacket that snagged my interest although I was concerned it might be a wee bit fluffy. While it’s certainly an easy read, fluffy’s not the word for this coming-of-age novel, set in …

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