To be added to later …


In Sun. Tel. 14.7.13, the writer and professor of English John Sutherland congratulated Ian McEwan on his recommendation of a 1965 book, Stoner, by John Williams, as a summer read, and went on:

“I must, I calculate, have read 10,000 novels. Each a little literary love affair. What five would top my list of books to be brought up from the cellar? I’d point to: Jezebel, Irène Némirovsky, 1936 (an exquisite study of the pains of midlife loss of beauty); Cockfighter, Charles Willeford, 1962 (American grit, allegorised in the most violent of American “sports”); Peter Ibbetson, George Du Maurier, 1891 (a charming British stab at what Proust was doing in Á la recherche du temps perdu); The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa, 1991 (teasing demonstration of the impossibility of writing books, while writing one); Sardines, Nuruddin Farah, 1981 (powerfully written roman à thèse, or didactic novel, about the horrors of female genital mutilation, decades before the Western media got aroused by the atrocity).


* Also filed recently ….

It took the Telegraph a while to get its 500 Must-Read Books of 1.6.13 online but you can now access the categories covered at:


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