Emily Read

The naked body in the pool

Deborah Levy’s Booker-shortlisted novel has, at first sight, all the ingredients of a standard villa holiday-from-Hell story, or indeed film. But this creepy and unsettling tale has more layers to it than most. Two couples, famous poet Joe Jacobs and his foreign correspondent wife Isabel and their friends, fat Mitchell and tall Laura, share a

Blowing hot and cold

The landscape is treeless and windswept but spectacular, with volcanoes, glaciers and geysers, the climate and cuisine nearly always disagreeably challenging: it is sometimes hard to explain the affection and loyalty Iceland has inspired in so many visitors, from Auden and Isherwood in the Thirties to the academic and novelist Sarah Moss in 2009. She