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Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is a full, rich novel, informed by an acute awareness of race, class and gender. If the author seems a little too in love with her central character, that flaw is more than compensated for by the astuteness of her observations of contemporary American and African life as seen through the eyes of her […]

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Review: Disoriental by Negar Djavadi (translated from the French by Tina Kover)

    The title of this novel is a deft play on words:  in this story of an Iranian dissident family forced into exile in Paris in 1981 after the Islamist revolution, Kimia Sadr is not only separated from her “oriental” identity, but she, and her whole family, are “disoriented” by the loss of all […]

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Review: The Only Story by Julian Barnes

It’s a good feeling to tuck into a novel and know I am in the hands of a master. And that was certainly true with The Only Story, which describes a love affair between a callow nineteen year old youth and a 48 year old woman, married and mother of two. It’s the voice that […]

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Review: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

The Burgess Boys isn’t my favourite Elizabeth Strout novel by any stretch, but it certainly has its moments, particularly when addressing the onset of late middle age: “So she lay awake at night and at times there was a curious peacefulness to this, the darkness warm as though the deep violet duvet held its colour […]

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Review: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

With her usual prescience for the zeitgeist, Meg Wolitzer begins her latest novel with an incident of sexual assault on campus. It’s 2006, and a young and naïve coed named Greer is groped at a frat party. At first she hesitates to act, then decides to take action, spurred on by her hero and mentor, […]

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