Tag Archive: Folio Prize

Jan 19

An Analysis of 2015’s Literary and Genre Awards: Part 3 – Subjectivity

What you’re all dying to know in this the third and final part of my analysis of Literary and Genre Awards is what were the best and worst shortlists for 2015.  Of course the subjectivity here is all mine and the mileage of other’s will vary. What I’m going to do is list the top …

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Apr 09

Book Review: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

What’s It About The unnamed narrator – a woman, a wife, a mother – ruminates in fragments and vignettes about the breaking down of her marriage, the rearing of her child and ghost writing a novel. Should I Read It? Yes. At 25,000 words, this book would barely scrape in as a novella if it were …

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Apr 03

Book Review: Family Life by Akhil Sharma

What’s It About At the age of eight Ajay Mishra moved, with his family, from India to America.  At first the transition to this new land of wealth and opportunity goes smoothly.  Unlike India where the family lived frugally, where they would save the cotton wool that came inside pill bottles, Ajay and his brother …

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Mar 27

Book Review: 10:04 by Ben Lerner

What’s It About 10:04 is Ben Lerner’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Leaving the Atocha Station (I bought a copy of his début back in 2013 when it was nominated for a Believer Magazine Award.  Though, like many other books that linger and loiter in my garage, I haven’t read it). In 10:04 the unnamed narrator, who may …

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Mar 24

And the Winner of the Folio Prize is…

… Family Life by Akhil Sharma. While I have yet to write-up my reviews of three of the eight finalists, I have read all the nominees and Family Life is definitely a deserving winner.  It’s a powerful novel about the immigrant experience, assimilation and dealing with disability.  A review is forthcoming. In the meantime I draw …

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Mar 23

Book Review: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

What’s It About Elf is a brilliant pianist who performs internationally in front of sellout crowds.  She has a wonderful marriage with a husband who loves her deeply. And she also desperately wants to die. Yoli is Elf’s younger sister, recently divorced, who is living off her savings and is struggling to finish her first literary novel. …

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Mar 19

Book Review: Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

What’s It About Short answer: The story of colonial and post colonial Kenya. Long answer: The death of Odidi Oganda, gunned down in the streets of Nairobi, forces his family to face secrets from their past, secrets intertwined with the colonial and post colonial history of Kenya. Should I Read It? Absolutely you should.  Dust …

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Feb 10

The Shortlist for the Folio Prize has been announced

And here it is: 10:04 by Ben Lerner (Granta) All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (Faber) Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (Granta) Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Granta) Family Life by Akhil Sharma (Faber) How to Be Both by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) – read, not reviewed… yet. Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín …

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Nov 30

Book Review: Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

Last year, Kirstyn and I spoke very highly of Claire Messud’s sixth novel, The Woman Upstairs, on the Writer and The Critic podcast.  It’s a book that refuses to shy away from the raw, passionate emotions of the lead female character, Nora, after she’s betrayed by a close friend.  Her anger and despair is confronting and difficult. …

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Nov 18

Book Review: Outline by Rachel Cusk

The TL;DR Review For Those Who Haven’t Read The Book  What’s The Book About? Faye flies to Greece to give a two-day writing class.  Each chapter is made up of the conversations she has on her trip.  It’s also a book where the narrator barely makes an impression and what’s discussed mostly centres on broken …

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