For author and historian Hilary Mantel it is nesh. For Aminatta Forna it is plitter. While Nina Stibbe goes all goosey over fetlocks. They are among the writers who contributed their favourites to words we love compiled by The Guardian. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the words come from the writers early upbringing or cultural background. Neel Mukherjee says he believes every Anglo-Indian knows only too painfully the expression tight slap: “A tight slap is when the hitting palm makes full and satisfying contact with the cheek being hit. No slippage resulting from the face being turned away or trying to dodge, none of the unsatisfactory business of only the fingers making contact instead of the entire hitting palm; full connectivity, in other words. He puts it in the same class of words as chokra-boy (a young male servant or ne’er-do-well), and baba-log (the word Anglo-Indians used of their children when talking to their nannies).
2014 has been another wonderful year for literature, a classic case of so many books, so little time. I ended the year having read 80 books, predominantly fiction novels, but including one play (Mike Bartlett’s perceptive and witty King Charles 111, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories.
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (Text)
The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol (W.W.Norton)
The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Bloomsbury)
Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami (Alfred A Knopf)
Thank you For Your Service by David Finkle (Text)
Beyond the Beautiful Forever by Katherine Boo (Random House)
The Golden Age by Joan London (Random House Australia)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Allen & Unwin)
A Winter’s Book by Tove Jansson (A Sort of Book)
His Own Man by Ribeiro Edgard (Text):
The gender division was 66-44 per cent to the blokes, the authors came from
First there was a Norwegian called Ove Knausgaard winning plaudits for his autobiographical collection of six books under the umbrella title My Struggle. Now we have A Man Called Ove, Swedish this time, written by blogger and columnist Fredrik Backman which sold more than 500,000 in his native country and…
Despite some ordinary, some might say highly negative, reviews of DBC Pierre’s Petit Mal released last year, (“a motely collection”) was one of the kinder descriptions, in June, he’s serving up Breakfast with the Borgias, a horror-thriller novella, published by Random. In the meantime, newspaper readers had a treat when…