Majnun Ben-David

Remarks: Jan Ellison's "A Small Indiscretion"

When I created this website a couple of years ago, I included Jan Ellison on my Links page as one of just a few "up-and-coming" authors on the basis of her excellent short stories (read them here). As such, I was excited to learn that her first book, a novel, was being published by Random House. "A Small Indiscretion" is now out in hardback and digital form (buy it online here or here, or at a bookstore near you here). My spoiler-free remarks on it are as follows … Click here to see the full post...

Remarks: Novella-T

NovellaT is a neat new publisher of literary fiction. Their model is to serialize novellas (defined broadly) in weekly emails. I think this is a wonderful thing, and am rooting for it to succeed. Here are what I see as the advantages of NovellaT ... Click here to see the full post...

Remarks: Louise Doughty's Apple Tree Yard

First, a reminder. These are remarks, not a review. The difference? By calling them "remarks" I can take shelter behind the Stein-Hemingway Theorem: "Remarks are not literature." Thus protected, I don't feel the need to spend hours polishing these remarks, nor am I obligated to recap the novel. These are just my remarks. Major spoilers are avoided in what follows.

Louise Doughty's
Apple Tree Yard begins with a bang and continues apace. The plot is an ingeniously constructed variant of The Prisoner's Dilemma, though here it is a woman and her lover who stand accused, making the situation all the more fraught. The novel is a good read for the plot alone, but Doughty populates it with well-rounded, interesting characters whose lives touch on deep issues of modern life. This is a literary page-turner with depth and richness.
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