Saturday 6 June 2020

Lobster bisque

Susan Hill, whose lockdown reading recommendations are a weekly joy, chomps in the latest Spectator on a T-bone in her reading of American crime fiction, but finds time for the 'lobster bisque' that is an old favourite.
The novels of Anita Brookner seemed to have vanished without trace but they have all now reappeared in a fine series with new cover designs. My copies were old and battered so I have bought the set, because Brookner is one of the women writers I most admire, and re-reading her in new copies helps me consider them afresh. V.S. Naipaul despised her work, probably without having read it, but that is just an added recommendation. If you have been told they are ‘all the same’ — well, only in the sense that Bach’s organ preludes or piano variations are all the same, because Brookner’s works are indeed variations on a theme. Think of them that way and her genius will reveal itself over these wonderful novels.

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