Hilary Plum on Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan:
When so little of a country’s literature has made its way to us in translation, it’s tempting to read what does appear as “news from elsewhere,” source material to help us understand Indonesia’s history and politics. Yet that would be an injustice to the ambition and seduction of Kurniawan’s novels, the reckoning they enact both with his country’s violent twentieth century and with the form of the contemporary novel. . . .
Luke Brown on Kevin Barry's Beatlebone:
Beatlebone is a rule-breaking novel, a strange and fascinating look at the mystery of creative inspiration, “about going to the dark places and using what you find there”. It deserves its place on this year’s Goldsmiths Prize shortlist — for “fiction at its most novel” — and could make a worthy winner.
Rohan Maitzen on Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic:
[Gilbert}]champions a kindergarten model of creative success: anything you make, however sloppy, haphazard, and unskilled, deserves a place on the wall of fame! But we stop applauding children for making anything at all once we (and they) realize it’s time to acknowledge there’s more to art than unthinking self-expression — that there’s an adult version of creativity, one that reaches beyond the solipsistic gratification of doing whatever you want.