Review: Fever City, Tim Baker’s dark debut novel about the sinister trail leading to assassination of JFK

FeverI wasn’t very old but I remember the assassination of President Kennedy. I remember watching as my mother dabbed at her tears with the corner of her apron while the television reports invaded our living room. I remember how my father put his arm around her protectively as she sobbed into his chest. I don’t think I really understood the implications of what was being played out in a country thousands of miles away. events that changed the world for ever. But it was the first time I had seen my mother cry, and I was very scared.

JFK’s assassination lies at the heart of Fever City, Tim Baker’s dark, labyrinthine thriller that darts backwards and forwards through time as the brutal take-no-prisoner worlds of big business, organised crime and politics collide.

Oe, Pamuk and Ferrante headline long list for Man Booker International Prize 2016

ferranteNobel prize winners Kenzaburo Oe from Japan and Turkey’s Orhan Pamuk along with  pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante headline the lineup of 13 authors on the Man Booker International Prize 2016 long list announced today. Also included is Yan Lianke’s The Four Novels, which is banned in his native China, and two debut authors, Fiston Mwanza Mujila from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Finland’s Aki Ollikainen.

The award is granted to the finest international book translated into english. The translators receive half the GBP50,000 total prize money. The full long list:

Shortlist for Stella Prize 2016 announced

The Stella Prize Chief Judge, author and academic Brenda Walker, has summed up theChar shortlist for the 2016 shortlist as “finely composed and compassionate literary investigations of the fate of individuals interacting with the natural world and with social authority; with protection and self-protection in complicated environments; with the hard-won joy of living”. They are:

Debut authors dominate longlist for 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Debut authors make up more than half of the 20  authors on the long list for the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, alongside established authors such as  Kate Atkinson, Anne Enright and Pulitzer Prize winners Geraldine Brooks  and Elizabeth Strout. Chair of Judges Margaret Mountford said of this year’s longlist: “We had a hugely enjoyable and stimulating meeting, as there were a great many strong novels in contention. We are delighted with the quality, the imaginative scope and the ambition of our chosen books, a longlist which reflects the judges’ interests and tastes. We hope readers will enjoy the variety of outstanding work on offer.” The full long list is:

Review: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

StroutElizabeth Strout’s new novel, My Name is Lucy Barton is set in the mid 1980s where Lucy, a writer, has spent weeks in a Manhattan hospital recovering from a mysterious persistent infection. Her husband struggling to cope running their home and looking after their two young daughters, as well as with his job, unable to visit regularly. She is well cared for, particularly by the rather sad but fatherly doctor, but finds herself increasingly diminished by the nebulous nature of her illness, and her isolation.

Then, one afternoon, she wakes to see her mother seated on a chair at the end of her bed. It is completely unexpected. They have not seen each other for years, nor kept regular contact since her marriage. Her mother has never visited New York. Never been on a plane, nor even travelled in a taxi. But she has come and for five days she sets

Happy world wildlife day from Mongolia with Przewalski’s Horses, the only surviving breed of wild horse

Some of the 300 Przewalski’s Horses, formerly extinct in the wild,  now roaming free in one of four special reserves set aside by the Mongolian government. By 1945 there were only 31 horses, all in captivity in two European zoos. However an internationally backed breeding program has resulted in herds now being released into protected areas in

Toni Morrison receives major PEN America award for enduring command of her art

Toni Morrison has been awarded the Saul Bellow Prize for American Fiction 2016, part of the 2016 PEN America awards, recognising  “her enduring command of her art”.  Morrison has previously won the The Pulitzer Prize for Beloved and, in 1993, the Nobel Prize in Literature. The PEN judges citation said her works have “changed the landscape…


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