Book review

You Let Me In, by Camilla Bruce You can read the opening here (‘look inside’). This is a deeply disturbing novel. The protagonist, novelist Cassandra Tipp, has vanished, leaving behind what is essentially a memoir, a document containing two competing narratives about her life. In one story, Cassie tells of a vampiric 1,000-year old faerieContinue reading “Book review”

Book review

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell You can read an extract, here. I’ve just finished reading Cloud Atlas, and wanted to write a review about how amazing it is, but it’s difficult to do that while avoiding spoilers, and I really don’t want to ruin the reading experience of anyone who hasn’t read it yet, soContinue reading “Book review”

A short story I recently re-read

‘Black-Eyed Women’, by Viet Thanh Nguyen Read it here, in about 40 minutes. Thinking about metafiction… Metafiction is fiction that is self-referential. Fiction that draws attention to its own fictionality, either overtly (e.g. the narrator directly addresses the reader) or covertly (e.g. the story is about writing stories). Black-Eyed Women’ is all about the natureContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A short story I recently read

‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Laura Demers Read it here in 18 minutes. Thinking about intertextuality… Intertextuality simply means there’s a link between one text and another. ‘Text’ here doesn’t just refer to literature; it could refer to any text, such as art or music or architecture. Some theorists argue all stories are intertextual, because every storyContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

Three stories for autumn

If you’re looking for some reading to inspire your own writing this autumn, you might like to consider some of these stories: The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield Read an excerpt here. This is a metafictional novel – a story about stories. The narrator is reminiscent of a Brontë heroine, there are references to 18thContinue reading “Three stories for autumn”

A short story I recently read

‘The Elephant’, by Chan Chi Wa (translated by Audrey Heijins) Read it here, in less than 10 minutes. Thinking about how the story opens, and how readers are engaged… This short story begins with ‘After the elephant vanished, my life fell into chaos’. Perhaps the reader could imagine a circus owner saying something like thisContinue reading “A short story I recently read”