" Ishiguro repeatedly frustrates any hopes for a usual narrative trajectory, muffles noise, and hints at things which are never explicitly revealed. It is because of this that, despite the language being simple, despite every action and event being clearly described, we end up with such a thoroughly enigmatic novel – a magical mystery tour. The narrative voice is seamlessly executed, with no authorial trace – Ishiguro never hammers things home for the reader, or even taps them lightly – and this makes it immersive and engaging. The other aspect of The Buried Giant that pushed it higher in my estimation was the relationship between Axl and Beatrice. The uncertainty and imbalance of their love moves through the book from almost nauseatingly uxorious (“Still here, princess”) to horribly upsetting (if I mention pixies at this point, those who have read the book will nod solemnly). Their dialogue is more often crosstalk than coherence, as they constantly disagree over memories, and they exhibit a combination of blithe reassurance and anxious caution that looks very like much familial love. As the book progressed, I started to think more and more of how their lack of memories were a kind of death, and as with Never Let Me Go, death and how we approach it and live with it looms large in this book."
Sofia Samatar, Keguro Macharia, Aaron Bady in conversation
'Increasingly, or, perhaps better, consciously, I’ve tried to “erase” in my work (actually from the very beginning) the demarcation between fiction and nonfiction. All literature is a form of lying, and in the hierarchy of such, I view the autobiographer as the biggest liar for claiming to remember everything as it happened, whereas memory has already done its powerful editing. Next in the hierarchy of liars is the biographer, who dares to claim that he can “know” another’s life. The most honest of the hierarchy is the fiction writer, who says in effect, “This is a lie, a fiction, and I’m trying to convince you it’s all true. …”'
In our current cultural climate of feminist-defining and not-feminist-enough shaming, Roxane Gay’s ownership of the title is a tongue-in-cheek revolt, to powerful effect. “Bad feminist” is a way for her to claim the title of feminist while distancing herself from the essentialism that she feels has never represented her, that has at times even rejected her. As Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has said, “There’s the idea of feminism as a party that’s very exclusive, and some people don’t get to go.” The exclusivity is based on the idea that there exists “one true feminism to dominate all of womankind,” as Gay puts it—a kind of independence to the point of invulnerability, a heterosexual, white, middle to upper middle class, pink-hating Feminism with a capital F.
There’s something so uncannily timely about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that it’s almost disturbing. In the UK over the past few weeks, there’s been a palpable sense that the dominant reality system is juddering, that things are starting to give. There’s an awakening from hedonic depressive slumber, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is not merely in tune with that, it’s amplifying it. Explosion in the heart of the commodity? Yes, and fire causes more fire …
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