The point is not to negate reality, but to peel back its scrim,

Dear Chloe, Your novel The Immortalists (2018) seems to be cursed by the very premise it seeks to explore: the interplay between chance and destiny is not an easy subject to tackle. Your somewhat tamed approach to it, however, is a bad omen. The book is a decades-spanning story of a Jewish immigrant family. It…

Chloe Benjamin

Chloe Benjamin (1990) is an American author. She graduated from Vassar College and earned a M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches workshops on publishing. Books The Anatomy of Dreams (2014) The Immortalists (2018)

The Classics Spin #17

Hello, lovely readers! It’s time for another Classics Club Spin! Participants post a list of 20 books on their Classics Club list. On Friday morning (March, 9th), a random number will be selected by the Club. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by April 30th, 2018. Here is my…

We’re ourselves, and what does it signify?

Dear Elizabeth, Your book The Runaway (1872) is a Victorian children’s novel that quietly subverted everything I normally expect from the genre. The story revolves around a pair of children. The fifteen-year-old Clarice is the only daughter of a widowed merchant. One day, while strolling through her garden, she comes across a mysterious girl, Olga (the…

Elizabeth Anna Hart

Elizabeth Anna Hart (née Smedley, 1822-1890) was an English writer,  also known as Fanny Wheeler Hart. Books Try, and you Will: a Story for Youth, 1859 Mrs. Jerningham’s Journal, 1869 The Runaway: a Story for the Young (1872) A Very Young Couple, 1873 Paws and Claws: Being True Stories of Clever Creatures, Tame and Wild, 1874 Miss Hitchcock’s…

Reading Ireland Month

Hello, lovely readers, In March, Cathy and Niall are hosting Reading Ireland Month (#Begorrathon18, #readireland18), to celebrate  all things Irish! Here are some of my possible reads: The Gadfly, by Ethel Lilian Voynich (1897) The Bell, by Iris Murdoch (1958) The Rose Garden: Short Stories, by Maeve Brennan (1999) That Lady, by Kate O’Brien (1946) A Line Made by Walking, by Sara…

Library Loot, a Century of Books and more

Hello, folks, My literary year doesn’t really start until I decide to dive into more reading projects than I can actually handle. So here they are: A Century of Books This is a project hosted by Simon, with the aim of reading and reviewing a book published in every year of the Twentieth Century. My aim is…

The sky was red and all my life was in it.

Dear Jean, In your novel Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), you seem to be holding up a distorting mirror to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847): if we look at this mirror for too long, illusion and reality will gradually lose their once sharp outlines; madness will be less a departure than a never-ending journey back home,…

Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys (born Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams, 24 August 1890 – 14 May 1979) was a British-Dominican writer. She was born and grew up in Dominica, and moved to England when she was 16. Her father was Welsh and her mother was Dominican (with Scots ancestry). Jean Rhys studied at the Perse School for Girls in…

To the New Year, untouched and still possible

Hello, dear readers, It is time to leave this year behind. Let’s look back over the books we’ve read in 2017 and pick our favourites. But first, some Stats (If you prefer, you can skip the stats and jump to my best reads ;)) According to Goodreads, this year I’ve read 110 books, comprising a total of 28.431…

She was still her own indomitable self,

Dear Willa, A Lost Lady (1923) is a story drenched in melancholy. A short-lived world is coming of age and, caught in its remaking, its inhabitants seem to be constantly circumscribing a void and falling through to the other side. They are not so much losing themselves in its changing, as they are disclosing to…

Willa Cather

Willa Sibert Cather (December 7, 1873– April 24, 1947) was an American write. She graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and, in 1896, moved to Pittsburgh to work for the women’s magazine Home Monthly. She also worked as high school English teacher, as drama critic for the Pittsburgh Leader, and as contributor of poetry and short…