Best of the Moment
Brooke Allen | Barnes & Noble Review | 25th September 2013
Review of Ian Buruma's Year Zero: A History of 1945. "Though the war had ended, the violence went on almost unabated. All over Europe and Asia vengeance was being executed: on Germans, on collaborators, on women who had fraternized with the enemy, on class enemies, on unpopular ethnic and religious minorities. One of the most gruesome hallmarks of 1945 was the systematic use of rape as an act of terror by the victors"
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova | n+1 | 25th September 2013
Pussy Riot protester tells of conditions in her Russian prison camp. "Sleep-deprived, overwhelmed by the endless race to fulfill inhumanly large quotas, the convicts are always on the verge of breaking down, fighting over the smallest things. Just recently, a young woman got stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors because she didn’t turn in a pair of pants on time. Another tried to cut her own stomach open with a hacksaw"
Judith Shulevitz | New Republic | 25th September 2013
Her latest novel, MaddAddam, completes a trilogy exploring bioengineering and transhumanism. She brings to bear "a sense of the tragic, a respect for the power of malevolence, a grasp of how things go awry ... What you’ll take away is not the end of humanity — that happens in every novel these days—but the fertility of Atwood’s paranoia. Her trilogy teems with deliciously ghoulish skewerings of posthuman dreams"
Aidan Hartley | Spectator | 26th September 2013
Man shot in Kenya's Westgate massacre lives to tell the story. "The terrorist stood up again, then lay back down on his back, rolled over and shot me. I let out this groan. I could immediately feel the blood flowing. I twitched and pretended to be dead so he wouldn’t think I needed another shot. The only time I felt scared was when I looked into that guy’s eyes. After that I felt, what will be will be"
Belle Waring | Crooked Timber | 23rd September 2013
On male arrogance and the modern novel. "I judge novels that were written during a time when men perfectly well could have known that the women they spoke to were intelligent human beings, in which the authors nonetheless fail in varied awful incredible ways to represent the 51% of humanity involved, to have failed qua novels. It is actually somewhat embarrassing for everyone"
Thought for the day:
"Writing is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing" — Nassim Nicholas Taleb