January 30, 2018

Right until the moment our interview ends, and Nicole Krauss melts with a hug and a kind word into a wonderful dissolvable sweetness, she is hard, formidable, icy. Not bitchy or brash, or any other pejorative descriptor of female inaccessibility, but poised and controlled, intellectually precise and unyielding, pushing right up to the edge of defensive.

Most of my tentative explorations of her latest work were met with a “No,” and a correction. And she has reason to fiercely guard the interpretation of her work. “Women writers have to prove their seriousness and authority and young men are often granted that authority on credit. They only have to disprove it,” she says. This is something Nicole Krauss says she’s acted on, subconsciously, since she wrote her debut novel Man Walks Into A Room at the age of twenty-five. Since then she’s proved it and proved it; through the poetic beauty of...

January 30, 2018

Sally Rooney grew up in County Mayo, and started writing her debut novel Conversations With Friends while studying for a masters in American Literature at Trinity College, Dublin. Seven publishers bid for the rights to it, and it is now Faber’s lead debut title for 2017.

Presented from the point of view of 21-year-old Frances, the novel follows four main characters: friends and exes Frances and Bobbi, and an older married couple Nick and Melissa.

From the publisher’s blurb: As their relationships unfold, in person and online, they discuss sex and friendship, art and literature, politics and gender, and, of course, one another. Twenty-one-year-old Frances is at the heart of it all, bringing us this tale of a complex ménage-à-quatre and her affair with Nick, an older married man.

Those Precious Stolen Moments gave it ★★★★☆  - "Witty, wry and full of the tenderness, viciousness and pain of fri...

January 30, 2018

Megan Hunter talks to Those Precious Stolen Moments about her debut novel The End We Start From, released 18th May 2107, published by Picador.

The publisher's blurb: In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.

This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the c...

January 29, 2018

Laura Kaye talks to Those Precious Stolen Moments about her debut novel English Animals, released 12th Jan 2017, published by Little, Brown Book Group UK.

The publisher's blurb: When Mirka gets a job in a country house in rural England, she has no idea of the struggle she faces to make sense of a very English couple, and a way of life that is entirely alien to her. Richard and Sophie are chaotic, drunken, frequently outrageous but also warm, generous and kind to Mirka, despite their argumentative and turbulent marriage.

Mirka is swiftly commandeered by Richard for his latest money-making enterprise, taxidermy, and soon surpasses him in skill. After a traumatic break two years ago with her family in Slovakia, Mirka finds to her surprise that she is happy at Fairmont Hall. But when she tells Sophie that she is gay, everything she values is put in danger and she must learn the hard...

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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