A pot of basil, two lovers and a tragedy. It's a plot that will always sound like you've heard it before (save for the pot of basil.) This week, read my take on the tragic Romantic-era poem 'Isabella' by Keats.
It is rare to find that one book on my reading list leads so effortlessly into the next one, but no sooner had I emerged from Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' did I stumble upon 'Unaccustomed Earth' by Jhumpa Lahiri, opening with this vivid epigraph (above). Long having claimed her place on my 'Favourite Authors' shelf, Lahiri brings her skill with the short story form to a life of travel and rootlessness.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter delves into one woman’s journey through guilt, temptation and societal humiliation. Set in a Puritan New England settlement, a young woman named Hester Prynne has been condemned to wear a ‘scarlet letter’ to shame her for having a child out of wedlock. Her husband, a traveler who is usually abroad, arrives to find her on […]
“What had gone wrong with these first descendants of the first great ocean crossing experiment? Was there not a substantial garden area, regular meals, clean clothes from Marks ‘n’ Sparks, A class top-notch education?” These are the telling words of White Teeth by Zadie Smith. It’s not only a riotous panorama of multicultural England, but also a must-have for any […]
Here's this week's creative experiment - a 200 word paragraph about a child playing in puddles after the rain, inspired by the rich imagery of The Great Gatsby.
I will try my best to make this the most engaging analysis ever. However, I need your full sympathy, seeing as I’ve never read any modernist short stories, let alone works that are done by one of the ‘best short-story writers of all time’! The idea behind this is to analyse reading and writing in Katherine Mansfield’s acclaimed short story, Prelude. Why? […]
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, a story overflowing with moments of intense description – be it giving words to love or pain – is just begging to be read critically. I won’t rant on about why critical reading is important as I did in my post on Never Let Me Go, but in short, it’s a way of appreciating […]