Out this week: The Census by Jesse Ball; Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith; The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea; Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala; Happiness by Aminatta Forna; and Wrestling with the Devil by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.
Do you love cats? Do you love Irish drinking songs? Do you love them together? Apparently, you are not alone. Marc Gunn of the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast has two parody albums devoted to this improbable marriage. Speaking for myself (in the words of the immortal Joe Turner), “I’m like a one-eyed cat, peeping in a seafood store…”
Over at Buzzfeed, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah travels to James Baldwin’s home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, and explores his life as an expat. She writes, “Baldwin left the States for the primary reason that all emigrants do — because anywhere seems better than home.” Pair with Justin Campbell Millions essay on Baldwin and fatherhood.
“These sorts of connections are at the centre of nearly all time machine fiction. These novels usually draw attention to telling commonalities across historical eras, or between the past and the present. That gives an engaging puzzle quality to the books—we read seeking out the dropped clues that will shed light on the purpose of the parallel.” On fiction in which the plot takes place over multiple timelines.
Recommended Reading: Jen Calleja offers a reading list to soothe your Brexit blues at The Quietus. “Like many people, I went through the five stages of Brexit – ‘oh well’, manic laughter, crying, rage, existential despair – in one day, and in the days that followed felt numb, nauseous, in doubt. But now it’s time to climb out of the mourning pit and work even harder than before at holding on to a European identity and keeping channels open to personal and literary dialogues with our European neighbours.”