The paper chase #8

by Guy Somerset / 30 May, 2011
Must-reads from the world's book pages.


Words are stupid, words are fun, words can put you on the run.

Witness the journalese skewered here.

Kingsley Amis also had a thing or two to say about language, recalls son Martin.

He wasn't the first and won't be the last, either.

And if we're talking words.

A rant against em dashes, while we're at it.

Nervous about writing anything ever again? I am. But here goes ...

Read any good books lately? Claimed to have ready any good books lately? And here's the essay that prompted the blog.

Perth-based New Zealander Stephen Daisley's debut Traitor is shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in Australia. How will it fare in the New Zealand Post Book Awards, for which shortlists and Best First Book Awards are announced on Wednesday?

A first novel "almost wholly without redeeming qualities". Who can resist a review like that? Or perhaps you're nicer than I am.

Nigella Lawson and How to Be a Domestic Feminist.

While on the revisionist path - the case for Wallis Simpson and Vladimir Nabokov: genius or narcissist?

Plus the perils of too many book awards.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth. Hurrah. Or maybe they won't. Sigh.

VS Naipaul on the influence upon him of his father.

Talking of Naipaul, he and Paul Theroux have buried the hatchet.

Novelist Hari Kunzru on China's disappeared dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

A new Lydia Davis story courtesy of Granta.

Lo, the meta-memoir. (Very Lydia Davis, that.)

Rip It Up and Start Again author Simon Reynolds's new book is about nostalgia. More a case of Sellotape it back together and hope nobody notices the joins. It is also reviewed here.

Talking of nostalgia, novelist Wesley Stace's Times Literary Supplement review of two new David Bowie biographies. (Stace is, when he is so minded, also singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding.)

Finally, Al Brown blogs about his Auckland Writers & Readers Festival encounter with AA Gill. (With thanks to Stephen Stratford's Quote Unquote for the pointer.)
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