‘Well they’re determined to do it,’ Terry dropped her briefcase inside the front door. Seeing the room was empty she went on through the kitchen into Paul’s studio. ‘I need a drink.’
‘Go ahead with the referendum.’
Paul put down her brush, half turning towards Terry. ‘What does it mean? I don’t follow. Come and kiss me and explain.’
‘It means,’ Terry said, putting her arms round Paul and kissing her neck, ‘that I’ll have to go up to the constituency this weekend and talk to the committee. See what they want me to do.’ [Read more...] in Authors and extracts
Reviewed by Elizabeth Hilliard Selka
Virginia Woolf would have spotted in Jo Hiffernan a woman badly in need of a room of her own. She has her place in the history of art by virtue of being immortalized by great male artists, but her own life was consumed by hours and days spent sitting and lying completely still, and by housekeeping and managing sales and finances for Whistler, who gave her power of attorney over his affairs when he travelled to South America. She even apparently brought up Whistler’s son by another woman, Charles Hanson. She seems to have been a creative, intelligent and capable woman and Cherry Smyth has done us all a favour by drawing attention to her [Read more...] in Reviews
RIP Doris Lessing (1919-2013)
bookoxygen mourns the death of one of the most important women writers of the twentieth century, Doris Lessing, whose novels, notably The Golden Notebook, were formative in the annals of women’s writing. (Lessing herself was unhappy that the work was seen as feminist though many readers found it a breakthrough work of pro-female fiction.)
Lessing’s output was prodigious and wide-ranging. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.
Reviewed by Siân Miles
This is the story of an Icelandic woman who, having been dumped twice in the same day by both husband and lover, decides to take a late vacation during which she hopes to sort herself out. Very soon afterwards, she wins a huge amount of money in a lottery, with the extra bonus of a bungalow thrown in, to be erected at any place of her choosing in the country. As companion, she agrees to take with her the deaf-mute young son of her best friend who is pregnant with girl twins and imminently to give birth. Butterflies in November is an account of the narrator’s journey to locate a site for this dwelling and its effects on both her and the boy. It is told in sixty-four chapters with an addendum of forty-seven recipes and a knitting pattern for baby-booties [Read more...] in Reviews
Authors - get it off your chest
bookoxygen recently posted a thought-provoking article by novelist Eve Seymour about gender and genre. (See Wicked Game, under Authors, Articles.) Eve Seymour discussed her decision to use the pseudonym Adam Chase because of the expectation that thrillers tend to be written by men. Much social media debate ensued.
bookoxygen is always happy to post items and host discussions on issues that writers think are important and would like to do more of it. Please get in touch if you have something you want to say. Normal publication rules apply, natch.
Reviewed by N.J. Cooper
Sara Paretsky is another favourite from decades ago. V. I. Warshawski, who takes no nonsense from anyone and will fight vested interests and mad psychopaths with her mind as well as her muscles, was a huge refreshment to the genre in novels such as Toxic Shock and Bitter Medicine. All the old characters are here again in Critical Mass [Read more...] in Reviews