Category Archives: Contemporary Literature

Writing and Editing The Tough Alchemy of Ben Okri

By | September 29, 2020

Guest post by Rosemary Alice Gray The publication of my monograph entitled, The Tough Alchemy of Ben Okri: The writer as conceptual artist fell about a week before my 80th birthday, auspiciously 20 August 2020. Since I discovered the works of Nigerian-born Londoner, Ben Okri (OBE), who has invested his lifeblood at the rock face of… Read More »

The Tough Alchemy of Ben Okri

By | September 10, 2020

A South African born, but Kenyan bred bibliophile, I side with Okri’s exhortation for an urgent need for ‘true critics’ who can shift through a wide range of literary disciplines and delve deeply into a book to release its ‘hidden genies’.

On being my own research subject

By | August 29, 2019

Guest post by Angelika Bammer My undergraduate students still regularly ask me if it’s ok to use “I” in their essays. When I assure them that it’s not just ok, but a way of acknowledging their own stakes in their argument or the questions they set out to explore, it’s like giving thirsty hikers water.… Read More »

Happy birthday, Raymond Carver!

By | May 25, 2019

Guest post by Tim Groenland Raymond Carver, who died in 1988, would have celebrated his 81st birthday today. In the years since his untimely passing, the continued spread of his work – the appearance of previously unpublished stories, new translations in multiple languages, adaptations and homages such as that found in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning… Read More »

‘I’d better get cracking’: Author David Mitchell on turning 50

By | January 12, 2019

David Mitchell is the author of seven novels, including bestsellers Cloud Atlas, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks, and was born on 12th January 1969. To mark his 50th birthday, Rose Harris-Birtill sent him ten interview questions on his birthday wishes, his fictional alter-ego, and his next book. A huge… Read More »

On Lifetimes: David Mitchell’s Textual Avatars

By | January 12, 2019

David Mitchell is the author of seven novels, including bestsellers Cloud Atlas, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks, and was born on 12th January 1969. To celebrate his 50th birthday, Wendy Knepper and Courtney Hopf explore the connections between Mitchell and his characters. In the interview with David Mitchell that… Read More »

Pattern and Change: David Mitchell’s Protean Fiction

By | January 12, 2019

David Mitchell is the author of seven novels, including bestsellers Cloud Atlas, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks, and was born on 12th January 1969. In honor of his 50th birthday, Patrick O’Donnell reflects on Mitchell’s imaginative storytelling. Like David Mitchell, I’ve always been fascinated by writers who create multiple… Read More »

The Biographical Novel and the Creative Art of Contemporary Living

By | November 6, 2018

Guest post by Michael Lackey Because Kevin Barry’s biographical novel Beatlebone is about John Lennon, one could wrongly assume that it provides an accurate picture of the Beatles’ lead singer. But what readers actually get is Barry’s vision of life and art, and he merely uses Lennon in order to achieve his artistic goal. As… Read More »

Q&A with Alice Bennett

By | October 10, 2018

Alice Bennett answered a few questions for us about her new book Contemporary Fictions of Attention: Reading and Distraction in the Twenty-First Century. How would you describe your book in one sentence? Contemporary Fictions of Attention is a book about how twenty-first-century writing has responded to the idea that reading books should improve concentration that… Read More »

Happy Birthday, Sarah Waters!

By | July 21, 2018

Guest post by Claire O’Callaghan  2018 is a special year for Sarah Waters as it marks twenty years since the publication of her debut novel, Tipping the Velvet. When it was released in 1998, the book was immediately recognized as a game changer; it was credited with inaugurating a racy new literary genre (‘the lesbo… Read More »