Well, yes. Was very pleasantly surprised to find I'd not only read nine of the longlisted titles this year (including The Chimes), but liked them all. Hasn't happened for years. But with all due and sincere respect to Smaill, Marilynne Robinson's Lila is leading the pack by a considerable margin. This, along with Gilead and Home was well worth waiting two-and-a-half decades for.
Someone in the comments is all “I only read Pratchett and Gaiman”, and I’ve had EXACTLY that conversation with someone I know.
I've also had that kind of conversation with someone who claims to be a serious crime/mystery reader. I was literally lost for words -- and everyone here should know how rare that is. FFS, I just can't take anyone seriously who claims to be a fan of this genre but says with a straight face they've never read Christie, Sayers, Marsh and Allingham. Or Patricia Highsmith. Ruth Rendell and P.D. James? Anne Rule -- the 'Queen of True Crime' who died earlier this week? Closer to home: How about Kerry Greenwood, Anne Perry and Vanda Symon? Margaret Millar? Gladys Mitchell? Marina Cole? Gillian Flynn? Patricia Cornwall and Sara Paretsky, who (IMO) aren't at the top of their game anymore but still productive? Susan Hill?
That's just the names I've pulled out of the air -- and none of whom are hard to find in any decently stocked public library or bookstore (new or secondhand).
I was well aware of Alice Munro when I lived in Victoria, British Columbia, for a couple of years, as there was a magnificent local bookstore (Munro’s books) which was founded by Munro and her then-husband in 1963.
And still going strong! I wish I could find the link again, but there was a rather amusing piece about how after she won the Nobel the staff found themselves explaining they really couldn’t put the owner’s first wife on the phone since she hasn’t worked there for over forty years. :)
Apparently she took up writing as she decided she could do a better job than many of the books that were available back then.
That's a very good reason for writing anything -- if nobody else is writing what you want to read, why not give it a poke? :)
Or Alice Munro
True -- but it's kind of depressing anyone would have to. As far as I'm aware, she's the only person to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature who worked entirely in the short story form. And started building her formidable reputation when the conventional wisdom was that you could count on a clenched fist the number of people interested in reading Canadian "literary realism" -- let alone short fiction written by women.
’ve only recently read Every Day is Mother’s Day, which I believe is her first. On the strength of that I’m looking forward to the later stuff, though the subject matter seems worlds away.
The irony is that she had another historical novel -- A Place of Greater Safety, which I'd strongly recommend -- wasn't published until 1992 (after she had five other novels under her belt) because nobody was willing to take a punt on a very long novel about the French Revolution from an unknown.
Totally agree with you Mantel just doesn't do kitchen sink sentimentality. If you'd like some insight into why, her memoir Giving Up The Ghost is well worth tracking down.
Neither does Ferrante -- which may go a very long way to explaining why she's blown up despite the pretty dismal amounts of contemporary fiction that gets translated into English these days.
Therefore: "conservative proletariat." If votes are emotive, it's the "conservative" part that wins the vote. Fuck proletariat.
Um, OK... You know, conservative ≠ "pathologically racist, misogynistic, homophobic and thick as a bucket of pig shit left out in the sun" any more than bogan does.
I have read the odd book by woman authors(sic) but they have failed to inspire the loyalty I feel towards writers like Saul Bellow, Henry Millar and David Foster Wallace, some of whom have no doubt been criticised for being chauvanists of the highest order.
Hum... I'd criticize Bellow, Miller and Foster Wallace for being over-rated fucking bores, but YMMV on that. Anyway, if it wasn't a vile misuse of my favourite novelist such nonsense would be responded to by throwing my second-best set of Jane Austen at the heads of such numpties. I'd respectfully suggest she has to have done a lot of something right to keep her six novels (two of which were published posthumously) continuously in print for two centuries. Let's see if Henry Miller pretentious wank-fodder is still around in the 22nd century.
It’s really about how you react when you’re asked to read books by women. It’s a very small thing. Try reading only female authors for a month, just a month.
You can easily fill a month with titles from Persephone Books, which not only has a damn impressive list but is one of the most successful small indie publishers in recent memory.
Persephone Books began in a room above a pub in the spring of 1998. Founder Nicola Beauman’s original concept was to publish a handful of ‘lost’ or out-of-print books every year, most of them interwar novels by women. The name Persephone was chosen as a symbol of female creativity, as well as of new beginnings (the daughter of Zeus is associated with spring).
What did people like former Helen Clark advisor Keith Ng and economist Shamubeel Eaqub say when Maori rights were breached during the Tuhoe raids by the police in 2007 or when Labour rolled out their shameful foreshore and seabed act in 2004? Nothing.
Short answer, Willie: A metric fuckton of people here abouts. (Including Keith who, IIRC, didn’t think Dr. Brash’s numbers stacked up either.) But never mind, stick to slut-shaming rape victims and don’t let reality get in the way of being everyone’s favourite brown-neck.
Speaking for myself, I’d like to decline human shield duty for naked racism. Maori have more than enough problems without becoming pawns in that game. Again.