In her latest book of essays Siri Hustvedt ranges far. She speaks of her family and her early life. She examines the power of art and of reading. She looks back at favourite books like Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights, she thinks about what we might be drawn to read during a pandemic, she plays around with the words of a famous story-teller, Scheherazade, and she examines the life of a prolific artist and journal writer, Louise Bourgeois. She also, as so often with her, tries to tease apart the debate about the relative merits of male and female art/writing. Continue reading Mothers, Fathers, and Others : Siri Hustvedt
An epigraph from Hélène Cixous’ The Laugh of the Medusa sets the tone for this deeply enjoyable book.
It’s up to you to break the old circuits. Continue reading Deborah Levy : Hot Milk
Anne Enright’s seventh novel Actress is a richly absorbing treat. Her story begins in Dublin, in the Bohemian household of Katherine O’Dell and her daughter Norah. Katherine is the stunningly beautiful actress of the title, as seen by the constantly scrutinising eye of her daughter. In the course of this intricately woven tale, we see Norah grow up and Katherine slowly descend from the peak of public adoration to fall into a pit of mental illness and public shame. But when she was in her prime none could touch her. Continue reading Actress-Anne Enright
Roger Ackerley died in 1929. At his funeral, the obituary in The Times states, ‘Nearly a thousand business men from all over the British Isles as well as from the Continent attended the funeral at Richmond Cemetery yesterday, and the wreaths were so numerous that four men were especially engaged to load and unload them.’
It’s Mothers’ Day here in Aus, and so Gert went browsing for a good mother poem. Yes, I know Seamus Heaney has some, and Les Murray, but this wry little piece appealed: Continue reading A poem for Mothers’ Day