Wendy Erskine

Sad and beautiful: The Dear Departed, by Brian Moore, reviewed

Short story writers often find it irksome to be asked when the novel is coming out, as though their work was just rookie preparation for something more substantial. (That said, many do go on to write that novel.) The Dear Departed is, amazingly, the first selection of Brian Moore’s short stories to be published. Written

Keep on rolling

Bowlaway, Elizabeth McCracken’s first novel in 18 years, is a great American candy-colour Buddenbrooks, a multi-generational epic spanning almost 100 years and presenting the lives of a whole panoply of people. Swap the family with their grain business in Thomas Mann’s novel for the Truitts and their bowling alley in Salford, north of Boston, and

Good and evil on an epic scale

David Keenan’s debut novel, This is Memorial Device, about a small town in Lanarkshire and its post-punk scene, showed that it wasn’t easy being Iggy Pop in Airdrie. For the Good Times, his second, set in 1970s Belfast, shows that it isn’t easy being a Perry Como-loving one of the boys in the Ardoyne. In