London review of books best books 2017
London Review of Books · LongformO ne of the joys of the novel is its endless capacity for reinvention, and saw fiction writers trying out fresh approaches and new forms. And in June we said goodbye to the prodigiously talented Helen Dunmore , who died shortly after the publication of her haunting last novel, Birdcage Walk Windmill , set in an 18th-century Bristol where revolution is in the air. Two slim, terrifying volumes lingered in the mind: Fever Dream by Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell Oneworld , was a gloriously creepy fable taking in bodyswapping, maternal dread and the dangers of GM crops. Both are quickly read, never forgotten. And Other Stories Influx , cornered the market in cerebral playfulness.
On Our Shelves
From a history of the black Tudors to a new novel about sex and friendship, our writers choose their favourites. One to read with Trump on the loose in the region and constant chatter about war with China in Washington. Will a more powerful China learn magnanimity, one wonders. Her composure throughout is inspiring anew. I read it through one summer night without stopping. As always. The anecdote inspired writer and naturalist Lyanda Lynn Haupt to consider the relationship between starlings, music and language in a scholarly and delightful book, whose pages are enlivened by the subversive presence of her pet starling, Carmen.
Read more. Patricia Lockwood on the Longform Podcast.
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As the narrative suggests, nothing recovers from a bomb: not our humanity, not our politics, not even our faith. Propelled by a vision that is savage, brutal and relentless, McGuire relates the tale of an opium-addicted 19th-century Irish surgeon who encounters a vicious psychopath on board an Arctic-bound whaling ship. With grim, jagged lyricism, McGuire describes violence with unsparing color and even relish while suggesting a path forward for historical fiction. Picture a meeting between Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy in some run-down port as they offer each other a long, sour nod of recognition. Inspired by the notebooks and reminiscences of his grandfather, a painter who served in the Belgian Army in World War I, Hertmans writes with an eloquence reminiscent of W.
Not all books are good. Not all books are new. From which it follows that not all new books are good, and not all good books are new. Here, we recommend books grouped around an eccentric and largely random collection of themes. All of them, we think, are good. Published 8 October Thanks to our prestigious series of events and our excellent location, we get a lot of famous authors dropping by.