NEW FICTION; We Are Attempting To Survive Our Time.
Byline: A.L. Kennedy
What is it exactly, that makes us feel whole? Formidably insightful, A.L. Kennedy's latest collection of short stories is a shrewd examination of life's defining moments. Not all these moments are loud - though the man having a panic attack at Kings Cross Station might argue otherwise. Through a series of slice-of-life moments - from the man on the edge of fame to the woman who walks out on her honeymoon - Kennedy examines instances of failure and injustice, success and almost success, love and urgent faith, asking the reader, just how lonely these struggles can be if they also feel universal? As always, Kennedy's closely observed prose is bleakly affecting.
The Discomfort Of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld HHHHH Marieke Lucas Rijneveld's debut is at times so unnervingly vivid and supremely disturbing that you have to put it down and walk away for a little while. Translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchison, it concerns the extraordinary perspective of 10-year-old Jas who lives on her family's dairy farm, where the day-to-day is dictated by the cows, the word of God, and what Jas' mother is cooking for dinner. Then an accident turns everything brutally sour, and Jas' offkilter understanding of the world turns in on itself. Rijneveld's writing is visceral, capturing pain and grief in away that's impressive and also deeply unsettling.