Stuart Evers

Wall Street madness: Trust, by Hernan Diaz, reviewed

‘I don’t trust fiction,’ the famous author told me, both of us several glasses to the good. ‘It contains too much truth.’ I nodded and she laughed and we drank more wine, but that sentence stayed with me in all its aphoristic glory. When she died, this was the first thing I remembered: our conspiratorial

Unkindly light: The Morning Star, by Karl Ove Knausgaard, reviewed

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle sequence is one of this century’s great projects: an intimate epic in which the overriding obsessions of our times — identity, gender, the meaning of truth — play out through six maddeningly detailed, curiously compelling autofictions. It’s the kind of work that casts a long shadow; any fiction that follows,

Unexpectedly delicious

‘Food experiences,’ writes Michael Flanagan in his paper ‘Cowpie, Gruel and Midnight Feasts: Food in Popular Children’s Literature’, ‘form part of the daily texture of every child’s life… thus it is hardly surprising that food is a constantly recurring motif in literature written for children.’ Though Helen Oyeyemi’s sixth novel, Gingerbread, is far from a

Closure at last

And so it comes, the final volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle sequence: a pale brick of a book, one that might be The End, but is an undertaking all of itself. The previous five books — autofictions that catalogue one’s man’s life in exacting, almost terrifyingly detail — were far from slender, but

Shadows of the past

The Shangri-Las’ song ‘Past, Present and Future’ divides a life into three, Beethoven-underpinned phases: before, during and after. Each section turns in on the next, binding them together with devastating effect. It is one of the oddest and most radically structured moments in pop, and one that came to mind when reading these three very

Worming out the truth

In Delmore Schwartz’s story ‘In Dreams Begin Responsibilities’, a young man dreams he is watching his father and mother’s engagement onscreen from a seat in a cinema. Weeping at the certain knowledge of the pain to come, he’s patted on the back by a woman. ‘There, there,’ she says, ‘all of this is just a

Smoke and mirrors | 6 October 2016

Nell Zink’s route to publication became something of a story in itself: one that involved an email exchange about birds with Jonathan Franzen, which led to Franzen’s subsequently championing her work, and ended with not one but two novels — Mislaid and The Wallcreeper — published together in a lavish, design-savvy edition. But it was