Marisela Navarro on Sarah Gerard's Binary Star:
For the majority of the novel, sentences stand alone. A sentence is a whole paragraph. I am seeing the words as much as I am reading them. I stop in the space to take them in. The experience of reading is dynamic. I have to pause; I have to keep going. I am in the narrator’s stream of consciousness and I don’t want to get out. . .
Hilary Plum on Amjad Nasser’s Land of No Rain:
For a contemporary American reader, then, Nasser’s novel offers a supplementary gift: we must imagine Hamiya, the City of Siege and War, and the City Overlooking the Sea as they are described here, as places that may exist beyond the reach of our knowledge. We must accept this wisely fabulist telling of history as, literally, our own (since this all happens to “you”), without countering it, blow by blow, without overwriting it with the American narrative that has been expressed militarily in the region for decades now.
Robert McCrum on Young Eliot, by Robert Crawford:
Previous unauthorised biographers, frozen out by the estate, were forced to cover these crucial first 21 years in about 21 pages. Crawford, by contrast, has dug deep, excavating Eliot’s life, from childhood in the ragtime city of St Louis, to The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, to the 1922 publication of The Waste Land.