Articles

Did Anna die for nothing?

51B7vhJixGLThe Idiot, by Elif Batuman (Jonathan Cape 2017)

There is an old librarian joke about a little girl who returns a book to the library and complains that it told her more about penguins than she had wanted to know. Readers of Elif Batuman’s 2010 book The Possessed are likely to have put the book down feeling much the same about Uzbek literature. Continue reading “Did Anna die for nothing?”

Brexit – existential leap or crime story?

jhp577e07d4bf0c3On 23 June last year, two significant events took place, for me at least. First, it was the day of Britain’s referendum on whether to remain in the European Union: I was one of the 17.4 million who voted to leave. Second, I was offered and accepted a contract from Zero Books for the publication of my novel, That Existential Leap: a crime story. Continue reading “Brexit – existential leap or crime story?”

Rustom: populism and prejudice in the age of ‘post-truth’ politics

Last year’s Bollywood hit film Rustom was just the latest fictionalised retelling of the story of Indian Navy Commander KM Nanavati. In 1959, Nanavati shot his wife’s lover dead, only to be found not guilty by a jury that seemed convinced not so much of his innocence as his righteousness. Continue reading “Rustom: populism and prejudice in the age of ‘post-truth’ politics”