Six Literary Links

There’s a tonne of amazing content out there from book reviews to pre-release info, to interviews, to discussions, to lists(!)

Here a few such things I’ve enjoyed this week:marlonjamesnyt

1. Imagine… The Seven Killings of Marlon James

I’d heard various interviews with Marlon James last year around the time A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Booker (I still haven’t read it but definitely want to!).  This documentary from the BBC is part James’ life and background and part the life of his novels – though it’s not so easy to separate them.

Mentioned in the documentary is an essay he published in the New York Times which is so worth a read:

From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself 

Marlon James is wonderful to listen to.  Fascinating to hear of his personal experiences and how they have shaped his writing.  He speaks so frankly of being a young gay man, in an all-boys school, in a country racked with gang violence, and simultaneously entrenched in church culture.

A great watch if you’ve got a spare hour.  (Is there anything more wonderful than hearing an author read their own work?)

2. Virago: Changing the World One Page at a Time

Another BBC documentary this week, focusing on Virago Press, a publishing imprint started by a group of women to promote women’s writing.  This tracks Virago’s founding from an idea and a pitch for money, to present day where Virago is currently part of Little, Brown.

Featuring many of the key characters in Virago’s history, who are frank yet diplomatic about the challenges over the years.  There are also great inputs from some of their current authors Sarah Waters and Margaret Atwood.  A great history of the importance of women’s writing and how it has changed over the last few decades.

3. 12 Books to Read in Your 20s

This article in the New York Times says:

“There are far more worthy books than any of us will get to read in a lifetime. So you better get cracking in your 20s, at the latest.”

Eek.  Better get on with it.  I’ve actually just bought the Dave Eggers, and am also hoping to read my first Zadie Smith and Toni Morrison soon…

4. Having An Aspirational Home Library is Totally Normal

This piece from Slate asks: Is it tacky to display books you have no intention of reading?  I just found this pretty funny.

5. The Gone Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on the Train

I just like this.  We may not have reached the peak of books with ‘girl’ in the title.  It’s got books, it’s got stats, it’s geeky.  What’s not to love?

6. Naomi Alderman interview: The Power 

‘I went into the novel religious and by the end I wasn’t. I wrote myself out of it’

I enjoyed this interview in the Guardian with Books editor Claire Armitstead.  Read another review about The Power last week and putting it on my wishlist!

Hope you enjoy some or all of these!  If you’ve read/seen/listened to any good reviews or interviews or podcasts (or anything else vaguely bookish) please go ahead and link it 🙂  Any other recommendations?

Happy reading,



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