Neel Mukherjee

Deep learning

Given the brilliance of his career as a fiction-writer, it is easy to forget that J.M. Coetzee has a commensurate career in non-fiction. He trained as an academic (English literature, mathematics, linguistics and computer analysis of stylistics), taught for several years in the US and in South Africa, and continues to translate, write essays and

August in Arizona

Helen Simpson is not a prolific writer; six slim collections of short stories in 25 years, each timed quinquennially with what seems, at least retrospectively, like impeccable forward planning. In fact, time, we shall see, is what her career so far has been about. She has also heroically resisted the pressure —and there must have

A box of delights

There is a dizzying profusion of texts and writers in Nicole Krauss’s second novel, The History of Love. There is an inset novel bearing the same name, written by one of her principal characters, Leo Gursky, excerpts from which are strewn throughout. Gursky, an 80-year-old Jewish refugee in New York, doesn’t know whether his book