June 15, 2017

Buzz: Man Booker Prize 2017 longlisted. 

Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize winning debut The God Of Small Things was sensuous, atmospheric, emotionally powerful book. India’s caste system was the motivator of the plot, and a backdrop of Keralan Communism bled through it. The book was saturated with politics, but it mainly served to inspire, sustain and contextualise the story - while at the heart of it were the troubled twins and their tragic mother.

20 years later, here comes The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Fans of Small Things will no doubt flock to read Roy’s latest offering, perhaps looking to experience, once again, the heady emotional high of her debut. This time, though, India’s politics is at the heart of the book, and the characters’ stories merely the thin blanket that wraps it. But it’s a very finely woven blanket and the book’s political heart is fascinating, enlightening and reve...

May 25, 2017

Buzz: Sold in a seven-way auction. Faber's lead debut title for 2017. Bookseller's Book of the Month


That the Bechdel Test for movies even exists has to be one of the more depressing minor details of modern times. If you’ve never come across it, it’s a way of evaluating a film’s representation of women using these criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. High standards, indeed. And yet, more movies than you would think fail miserably.

But we all know Hollywood is crass. Whereas the world of literature is so much more engaged, interesting, broad and inclusive. Literature breathes through inclusivity; rare would be the mainstream fiction novel that would fail the test, surely? So, why is it still surprising to see two beautiful, young, female characters intelligently, ent...

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