It’s Sunday, which means the intertubes are full of book reviews. Here are a few links to things I’m thinking about or wanting to read.
Patti Smith: Just Kids: I’ve been really riveted by the press for this one. I love Patti Smith — she’s so absolutely who she is and she’s so relentlessly followed her dreams.
- This Fresh Air interview is incredibly touching
- The Guardian UK review
- And a Guardian UK interview
- A slightly snarky review from the New York Times
A couple of years ago I stumbled across Andrea Levy’s novel Small Island by chance and raved about it to everyone I know. She’s got a new book coming out in April, The Long Song. There’s also a terrific interview with her in this weekend’s Guardian UK in which she says:
She can tell you, almost to the day, when she was injected with the creative adrenaline that produced Small Island – it was 1997, and she was judging the Orange prize.
“I suddenly understood what fiction was for,” she says. “I had to read books that I wouldn’t have necessarily read. I had to read them well and I had to read them in a short space of time. Back to back. Annie Proulx and Margaret Atwood and Beryl Bainbridge and Anne Michaels – boom, boom, boom. And I started to realise what fiction could be. And I thought, wow! You can be ambitious, you can take on the world – you really can.”
Reid denies, though, that writing A Scattering was therapeutic. “The problem never goes away. Writing does perhaps help put your own feelings in order. Forster wrote in Aspects of the Novel, ‘How do I know what I think until I set down what I say?’ That’s a very common experience: thoughts get form in the writing of them down. I was conscious of the different stages of grieving – that is what the book is about.”