All posts tagged: Literature

2016: A Year in Review (Part One)

The books, music, films, places and people that made my year better. The Muse by Jessie Burton: I loved The Miniaturist but I think I might marginally prefer The Muse, which somehow manages to create an even deeper sense of mystery than its predecessor. Burton always manages to evoke so perfectly places and eras that are worlds away; in this novel the narrative moves from 1960s London to 1930s Spain and back again and it does so so convincingly that after reading it, I felt like I had jetted to Spain and recently visited the Skelton Gallery, spotting Peggy Guggenheim as I went. The story revolves around four women; in London, Trinidadian Odelle Bastien, a writer who works at the art gallery as a typist and her enigmatic superior, Marjorie Quick and in Spain, Olive Schloss, the daughter of two absentee parents and a secretive painter and Teresa Robles, a sixteen year old for whom just surviving was enough before Olive arrived in her life. The novel is really a story about art; what makes …

A Life Lived In Colour: Why Azar Nafisi’s ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’ Is Still Relevant Today

Azar Nafisi’s ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’, the story of an University Professor who resigned her post and began secretly to teach her seven students about Western Literature in her own home in post-revolution Iran, was New York Times Bestseller for one hundred and seventeen weeks. Critics argue that its depiction of everyday life in Iran is obsolete, but the message about both the power of literature and of the individual can never truly be ‘dated’. As I write this, I am wearing a tomato-red cardigan, a striped blue shirt, the colour of the sky on a bright summer’s day, lime-green socks. My hair is loose around my shoulders and mascara paints my eyelashes, earrings the size of pebbles hanging either side of my face. The women in Azar Nafisi’s ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’ – a book which is both a testament to the power of literature and the imagination as much as it is a testament to her seven students, her fellow readers – wear similarly colourful clothing. The book opens describing a photograph of …