BOOKS

Spoils by Brian Van Reet

The National, April 2017 America’s infamous military campaigns in Iraq are steadily being picked apart through literature, and they rarely make for happy reading, even if the books…

How To Be Human by Paula Cocozza

The National, April 2017 In Gulf folk tales, the fox is a trickster. In the West, the mammal, which roams so many city settings, is nearly always described…

Jon McGregor interview

The National, April 2017 It has all the ingredients of a classic crime drama. A 13-year-old girl on holiday disappears on a lonely, wintry English moor. The tight-knit rural…

Omar El Akkad on debut American War

The National, April 2017 Rising sea levels have swept away the southern coast of the United States. South Carolina is surrounded by a wall to prevent a virus…

In Extremis by Tim Parks

The National, April 2017 “I had come to a complete dead end, a position of utter impasse and ugliness.” Thomas, the neurotic 50-something protagonist in the 18th novel…

Compass by Mathias Énard

The National, March 2017 Mathias Énard’s first novel to be translated into English was a 500-page monologue by a spy on a train, published as a single sentence….

Ayobami Adebayo on debut Stay With Me

The National, March 2017 Ayobami Adebayo was fidgeting in the Lagos bank she worked in, restless, desperately bored and unfulfilled. “It was mind-numbing work,” she says. “I was…

The Transition by Luke Kennard

The National, January 2017 Unemployed, unsure, in debt, fearful, even overwhelmed – whether they are described as Generation Y or millennials, the life of Westerners who came of…

The Soul Of An Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Shooting Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1916 – the first motion picture filmed underwater, no less – J Ernest Williamson trembled: “No words can adequately describe the sickening…