Lara Feigel

A child’s eye view: Fight Night, by Miriam Toews, reviewed

Writing from a child’s point of view is a daredevil act that Miriam Toews raises the stakes on in her latest novel. The nine-year-old narrator is meant to have written the words that appear on the page. But then there is something inherently risky about Toews’s whole undertaking as a novelist. She has made her

The Belfast Blitz: These Days, by Lucy Caldwell, reviewed

Caught outside at the start of a raid in the Belfast Blitz as the incendiary bombs rain down, Audrey looks up at the sky, transfixed by its eerie beauty. She watches ‘the first magnesium flares falling, bursting into incandescent light, hanging there over the city like chandeliers’. It is the sort of thing you never

Where would any writer be without a room of their own?

If you seek out the home of an admired writer, you might find, as with Ernest Hemingway’s house in Havana, that there’s a pen on the desk, mid-novel, and it feels as though he’s about to return from a day’s fishing. You might encounter, as Hermione Lee did visiting the novelist Elizabeth Bowen’s beloved ancestral

Cuckoo in the nest | 11 April 2019

What kind of loyalty do we owe a robot we’ve paid for — one who exhibits a convincingly human kind of consciousness? Less loyalty than we owe to our own children? But what about to someone else’s child? And do we commit murder if we destroy him? These are the questions facing Charlie when he

Opposites attract

‘Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn’t know if she would ever find out where it was and become part of it.’ This is the most frustrating part of being alienated and young. You hope that there’s a better life in store

Love becomes a duty

The story, as it emerges, feels both familiar and inevitable. A bored 19-year-old student, on his university holidays in mid-century Metroland, joins the local tennis club, where he dismisses all the girls his age as wholesome ‘Carolines’ but falls for Mrs Susan Macleod, a spirited, sarcastic woman in her forties. Paul shocks the village by