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Victoria Smith interviews award-winning writer and Desmond Elliott Prize nominee, Okechukwu Nzelu, and discusses his debut novel, Nnenna Maloney, literary inspirations like Bernadine Evaristo, balancing writing with teaching and ensuring that underrepresented voices are heard in literature.
Read More “Interview with award-winning novelist Okechukwu Nzelu: ‘I wanted people to empathise with those whose experience is different’”
With The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, Okechuckwu Nzelu has crafted a brilliant novel about a young woman trying to discover her Nigerian roots and navigate the complexities of love.
Read More “The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu – a beautiful, funny, warm debut”
Victoria Smith is captivated by Lanny, Max Porter’s long listed Booker Prize novel about the disappearance of a little boy from an English village. Here, Smith reviews the novel against Porter’s 2015 debut, Grief is the Thing with Feathers.
Read More “Lanny by Max Porter – an astonishing novel rich in folklore, myth and the idioms of the English language”
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2019, Melissa Broder’s The Pisces is a modern day fable about a woman who falls in love with a merman. Victoria Smith reviews Broder’s debut novel alongside her earlier poetry and essays, Last Sext and So Sad Today.
Read More “The Pisces by Melissa Broder – a beautiful, effervescent novel rooted in Greek myth”
Dancers move from the restrictive confines of seventeenth-century-inspired Catholicism to the liberating, empowering passion of flamenco in Patricia Guerrero’s scintillating piece, Catedral.
Read More “Patricia Guerrero’s Catedral at Sadler’s Wells”
Talks featuring Kerry Hudson, Anita Sethi, Natasha Carthew, Julia Bueno, Sali Hughes, Lynn Enright and many more were some of the highlights at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Victoria Smith writes about the panels and which books are a must for your 2019 summer reading list.
Read More “Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2019 – a brilliant literary festival that’ll make you fall in love with Hackney again”
Kerry Hudson’s precise, intricate and intelligently written memoir, Lowborn, revisits the brutal realities of poverty and the deprived places of Hudson’s own childhood.
Read More “Kerry Hudson’s Lowborn – a remarkable portrait of ‘dehumanising poverty’, but also love, compassion and self-determination”
Keeley is one of the few hairdressers left in the kingdom when the resident dictator requires a new hair cut. Terrified of saying no, three guards whisk her off to the palace to trim his ‘Eminence’s’ hair. Victoria Smith’s witty and deftly told short story is one for Angela Carter fans everywhere.
Read More “‘Snip Snip’ by Victoria Smith, Joint Second Place in the Lucy Writers Flash Fiction Competition”
The perils of electronic technology, the stylistic beauty of modernism and the possibilities a solar eclipse affords are all explored in San Francisco Ballet’s terrific triple bill at Sadler’s Wells.
Read More “San Francisco Ballet’s Triple Bill: McIntyre / Wheeldon / Dawson, at Sadler’s Wells”
Daisy Johnson’s 2018 Man Booker-shortlisted novel, Everything Under, rewrites the Oedipus myth into a mother-daughter story set in an eerie, waterlogged world.
Read More “Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under – a clever, murky retelling of the Oedipus myth”