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The Murder of My Aunt
(Paperback)
Hull, Richard;
 
This novel stands out a mile for its quirkiness and, surprisingly, its loathsome characters as well as its jet black humour. A product of its time, it’s an interesting study too into how attitudes of racism and sexism have changed – an editor would have their work cut out before it could be published today. Prepare for your 21st century sensibilities to be shaken.

Sara Sheridan - 19/11/2014
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Christian Discourses
(Paperback)
Kierkegaard, Soren;
 
I’m reading this little book for work, and it’s such an odd thing. It’s a sort of feminist tract: in his roundabout way Soren is arguing that older women have as much, if not more, to offer as younger women. He’s particularly upset that older actresses are often ignored in favour of new ones. Plus ça change.... But really it’s a book about real and false values in the world.

Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012
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Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and...
USA Title
(Hardback)
Mayakovsky, Vladimir; Almereyda,...
 
Rather than any specific novel, this book was more influenced by poetry. Bill Shankly was a great admirer of Robert Burns and Burns is a presence throughout the text. But many other poets are in there, too: Alexandr Blok, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Edwin Morgan and Ian Hamilton Finlay. But Burns aside – if that is possible – the greatest other presence is probably Vladimir Mayakovsky. 'Art From All, Art For All' was a credo for Mayakovsky and, to be very presumptuous, I like to think Saint Bill would have agreed. And for anyone else who might, I'd recommend Night Wraps the Sky, an anthology with some illuminating essays on Mayakovsky's life and work, edited by Michael Almereyda.

David Peace - 25/07/2013
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