“Using data from your smartphone such as weather, location and time, the programme interacts with the reader to tell the narrative in a unique and individualised way. No two stories will ever be the same experience. The technology enables the narrative to sync to the reader’s surroundings. So if it’s raining in real life, it will start raining in the story, if you’re sitting in a cafe, the action will take place in a cafe.”
“The experimental novel, Burns’s third, is narrated by an unnamed 18-year-old girl, known as ‘middle sister’, who is being pursued by a much older paramilitary figure, the milkman,” during Northern Ireland’s Troubles. Burns, the first Booker winner from Ulster, “beat writers including the American literary heavyweight Richard Powers; Daisy Johnson, at 27 the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the award; and the Canadian writer Esi Edugyan.”
What is the true point of a bookish life? Note I write “point,” not “goal.” The bookish life can have no goal: It is all means and no end. The point, I should say, is not to become immensely knowledgeable or clever, and certainly not to become learned. Montaigne, who more than five centuries ago established the modern essay, grasped the point when he wrote, “I may be a man of fairly wide reading, but I retain nothing.” Retention of everything one reads, along with being mentally impossible, would only crowd and ultimately cramp one’s mind.
“Latin’s revival, among young teachers on the one hand and nostalgic nationalists on the other, appears to flourish on two opposing ends. But while they may seem to be separate, the two are inexorably and uneasily linked through the history of white men’s appropriation of Latin as a marker of superiority.”
I thought it’d be tough. I thought it’d be hard work. But I also thought I’d be able to do it. I mean, I read quickly. But it was a huge ask. It did just swallow up my year. I got to a point where I was actually dreaming mash-ups of the books I was reading. I would wake up in the morning and go, “Did that happen?”
Democracy shamocracy, right? “Sweet Fruit, Sour Land by Rebecca Ley is the winner of the 2018 Not the Booker Prize. Our three judges have taken the brave decision to overrule the public vote and put their weight behind this dark dystopian novel in the place of Ariel Kahn’s optimistic and gentle Raising Sparks.”
Sarah Schulman’s new book is about people trying to figure out whom to blame, and a state where corruption at the very top leeches into every relationship. Where does her protagonist find some reality? In AA meetings. “The sheer humanity of people being able to admit their flaws in a world in which no one will admit their flaws is illuminating.”