Leo Robson is the lead fiction reviewer for the New Statesman.
Novels by both authors seems to be creaking under the burden of researched fact and rehearsed message, but there was a time when their impulses flowed in the opposite direction.
Leo Robson reviews three new works concerned with banned literature.
Three critics attempt to make make sense of the slippery lifespan of the realist novel, with occasionally illuminating and often chaotic results.
While Rakoff’s memoir is full of fabrication and thin on revelation, Thomas Beller’s biography is free of insight and confessional to a fault.
Two new novels, about a Romanian in Paris in the 1920s and a Belgian living near the French border respectively, are examinations of nationality and identity.
Why have the confessions of a Norwegian Everyman become a literary phenomenon?
Somewhere along the line, an orthodoxy hardened: cigarettes will kill you and Bon Jovi will give you a migraine, but reading – the ideal diet being Shakespeare and 19th-century novels, plus the odd modernist – will make you healthier, stronger, kinder. But is that true?