Friday High Five: Tattoos, Gender Swapping and Gone Girl
Her Struggle: If Knausgaard was a woman
Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-part autobiographical novel project, My Struggle, has been a worldwide literary sensation. But would it be as successful – or as heaped with critical praise – if it were written by a woman (what’s more, an American woman)? Katie Roiphe thinks not.
‘I don’t think we would be able to tolerate, let alone celebrate, this sort of domestic diarylike profusion from a woman … The novelist Hari Kunzru told the New York Times that Knausgaard “has the courage to say ‘my ordinary life as a father in a regional town is going to be enough to hold a reader’s attention.’ ” But what in a male writer appears as courage or innovation or literary heroics would be read, in a woman, even by the liberal, enlightened, and literary, as hubris or worse.’
Peter Rose takes on John Dale on book reviewing in Australia
There’s been a lot of chatter this week about John Dale’s lambasting of the standard of Australian book reviews as consistently poor, and of reviewers as lacking – after all, there’s no Australian James Wood. Today, on The Conversation (where Dale’s argument was published), Peter Rose, editor of Australian Book Review, defends Australian reviews and reviewers, and takes apart Dale’s argument: ‘What a clichéd, ungenerous and discreditable overview of book reviewing in this country, with its sentimental and predictable coda about mythic Manhattan standards.’
New Gone Girl trailer
There’s a new, updated trailer for the much-awaited Gone Girl film, by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosalind Pike. Get a fix while you’re waiting for it to hit cinemas.
Tattoos from favourite children’s books
Buzzfeed has put together a gallery of 50 tattoos from favourite children’s books, from Alice in Wonderland to Dr Seuss. Some look a bit dodgy, but others are pretty charming.
Best Books of the second half of 2014: The Millions
Literary site The Millions is once again giving us a sneak peek at the books their staff are most looking forward to in the second half of 2014. It’s well worth a browse, with titles including novels from Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan and Marilynne Robinson, memoir-essay collections by Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler, the first William Gibson novel in four years, and a new Frank Bascombe novel by Richard Ford.
Hot Desk Extract: three approaches to mem*ry
Paul Dalla Rosa on An Exciting and Vivid Inner Life
'Nothing connects humans like fiction'
Giving new life to lost objects
How tiny dioramas brought joy to a locked down world