Thursday, 13 February 2014

Three essays & a review

I highly recommend Deborah Levy's recently published essay, 'Things I Don't Want to Know' - it's feisty and sharp, with long, gorgeous sentences that can make you dizzy if you are not careful. Towards the end she says: 'What do we do with the knowledge that we cannot bear to live with? What do we do with the things we do not want to know?' I also enjoyed Zadie Smith's essay on writing, 'That Crafty Feeling', which I came across a couple of weeks ago on Poets and Writers,  Lines We Live By. Zadie's tone can sometimes feel a bit too artfully self-deprecating, but I love her obsession with the first 20 pages of whatever she is working on, and this: 'After each book is done, you look forward to hating it (and you never have to wait long)...'

Also enjoyed Janice Pariat's 'A line runs through', her short piece on borders in literature in which she references Saadat Manto's short story 'Toba Tek Singh'. I read Manto for the first time just over a year ago and was bowled over.

And allow me to link to this new review on Amazon of The State of Me which begins: 'This is an excellent book from a gifted writer. I don't think it ever received much publicity, and so I suspect nearly everyone reading it suffers from or knows someone who suffers from chronic illness. This is a shame as it's a superb portrayal of the "world" of chronic illness, yet at the same time it is never dreary or too depressing...'

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