State of Emergency

State of Emergency

What happens when the things that bind families together also divide them? That’s the question Singaporean author Jeremy Tiang asks in his remarkable novel, State of Emergency (Epigram Books), which dives into Singapore’s and Malaysia’s tumultuous days of leftist...
Outline

Outline

Outline is certainly divisive – two friends told me they found it a struggle to read, two others said they loved it … but their partners hated it. I get it. If you’re here for a Novel, with a capital N – a structured, unbroken, sequential tale with a definite...
Shuffle: An anthology of microlit

Shuffle: An anthology of microlit

“Rain sounds like sausages frying in a pan. You don’t think it does, right now, but after you’ve read this, it will rain, and it will forever after sound like sausages.” (From Barrage by Jude Bridge) This recent anthology from indie publisher Spineless Wonders (edited...
Home Fire

Home Fire

Can’t believe I’ve just discovered this novel from Kamila Shamsie. This awesome book was a deserving winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK in 2018. Its themes include family bonds, ambition, love, loyalty, grief, Muslim terrorism and British politics. Two...
Lanny

Lanny

Lanny (Faber & Faber, 2019) is one of those fantastic books that will remind you – if you needed reminding – why it’s worth reading fiction. It’s ostensibly a book about a boy called Lanny who lives in an English village, yet somehow about so much more. That’s...
A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

I didn’t have any great expectations when I started reading A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles, Random House, $19.99). But I soon realised it was a rare gift – a book with an original plot and a wonderful main character. I’ve read a lot of novels, so an original plot...

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