Allen and Unwin

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The Portrait by Ilaria Bernardini: Every picture tells a story

This is the second novel I’ve read recently in which two women become close to each other, one knowing very much more about the other. In Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow, a half-sister is entirely ignorant of her new friend’s relationship to her. Ilaria Bernardini’s The Portrait sees a celebrated writer whose lover of several decades …

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Improvement by Joan Silber: If you like Alice Munro…

There’s a quote from the Washington Post on the back of my proof comparing Joan Silber to Alice Munro which both piqued my interest and made me a little wary when approaching Improvement. Munro’s quietly insightful writing, uncluttered with fussy ornament, is right up my literary street but such comparisons so often lead to disappointment. …

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