Monthly Archives: November 2020

J L Carr – A Month in the Country


Last week we wrote about two elderly Swedish men, working together, trying to do a job in between drinks and reminiscences of life.

This week we have another novella with two men working side by side on projects for which they are well qualified. The difference is these two men are young, in their twenties, and both suffering trauma following their involvement in World War 1. Continue reading J L Carr – A Month in the Country

Lars Gustafsson – A Tiler’s Afternoon

Some years ago I stumbled on a curious blog called Caustic Cover Critic, sub titled One man’s endless ranting about book design which was most interesting in itself, but even more interesting were his occasional forays into the world of little known books. Like many former bloggers he now mainly confines his comments to Twitter, but a few times through the year he comes up with excellent lists of strange books. Continue reading Lars Gustafsson – A Tiler’s Afternoon

Annie Ernaux – The Years

Annie Ernaux was born in Normandy in 1940 the daughter of working-class parents who eventually came to own a cafe-grocery store. She became a teacher and started writing in 1974. Her slender books chart the events of her life and deal with issues that concern all women; her relationship with her father and mother, her adolescence, her marriage, her mother’s death, her own illness. Continue reading Annie Ernaux – The Years

Rose Tremain – Islands of Mercy

Rose Tremain’s new book is a dizzying ride.  Set in the middle of the nineteenth century, it covers a huge range of topics, among them British colonialism, life and environmental depredation in Sarawak, life in Bath, the inadequacies of the nineteenth century medicine as practised in Bath, morgues in Paris and London, poverty in Ireland, and the overarching theme of the pursuit for meaning in life, particularly as experienced by women. Oh, and did I say the effects of Married Women’s Property Act? Continue reading Rose Tremain – Islands of Mercy

Vale – Ania Walwicz

Ania Walwicz was the first writing teacher I ever had. About thirty-five years ago she was teaching in a Community Centre in Clifton Hill, even though she was a graduate of The Victorian College of the Arts. She had come to Australia from Poland as a child and always retained a strong accent. A tiny woman, she was known for her public performances, often wearing a large black beard.  She was a true original, a Bohemian rebel, always unafraid to challenge conventional ideas. Continue reading Vale – Ania Walwicz