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In My Good Books: ‘From The Heart’ by Susan Hill

From the Heart follows protagonist, Olive, as she navigates the complex social world of the 1950s. From the author of The Woman in Black, Hill presents a novel that is less haunting, but equally as powerful. From the Heart was published in 2017, making the exploration of coming of age, motherhood and sexuality as pertinent for the reader of 2018, despite the 1950s setting. Quaint friendship … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘From The Heart’ by Susan Hill

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Gothic Lit Picks for Halloween

With the temperature taking a dive and the leaves continuing to drop off the trees, this week is the perfect time to curl up inside with a good book and lose yourself in a story. For Halloween season, I’ve put together a list of the best Gothic literature to get your fangs into and keep you on the edge of your seat! Continue reading Gothic Lit Picks for Halloween

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Review: ‘Slip of a Fish’

Amy Arnold is a former Exeter student who graduated in 1986. Slip of a Fish is her debut novel and has been awarded the Northern Book Prize for 2018. RAZZ was lucky enough to have the opportunity to have a sneak peak, prior to its publication on 1st November.

 Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold is a novel that confronts the mother-daughter relationship in a unique style, that makes it as much about the way that it is written as the story itself. Through Arnold’s narrative style, readers view a common type of relationship in an uncommon way, fully immersing ourselves in the mind of the protagonist, Ash. Continue reading Review: ‘Slip of a Fish’

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In My Good Books: ‘Netherland’ by Joseph O’Neill

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill is a fragmented narrative that depicts love, politics and nostalgia, as seen through the eyes of Hans van den Broek. Hans is a middle-aged realist who is battling the chaos of New York-living during a confused stage in his life. The narrative of Netherland is propelled by the friendships of Hans as he navigates his present urban existence, yet Hans constantly finds himself seeking his childhood memories and passions. The title, Netherland, is almost certainly inspired by Hans’ Dutch origin, however on first reflection I was struck with a sense of the Disney portrayal of ‘Neverland’. ‘Neverland’ is the fictional island on which one can never age, and thus lives in an eternal childhood. To an extent, Hans similarly resists the reality of his ageing as he yearns for his simpler childhood and remains intent on continuing his childhood passion of cricket. So fundamentally, Netherland portrays the struggle of a man in a dangerous and fragile adult world. Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Netherland’ by Joseph O’Neill

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The Rise of Female Dystopias

Over the past few decades, the literary world has seen a surge in the production of dystopian fiction, so much so that is has become iconic in 21st century popular culture. Though the origins of the dystopian novel can date back to the 19th century, with many considering E.M. Foster as its pioneer, dystopian fiction is a genre that has continued to evolve. In the noughties, for instance, the literary category was dominated by the emergence of a number of young adult dystopian series such as Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, James Dashner’s The  Maze Runner and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. However, in more recent years, dystopian fiction seems to have embarked upon a new, predominantly female trajectory. Continue reading The Rise of Female Dystopias

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In My Good Books: ‘Other People’s Houses’ by Lore Segal

Other People’s Houses recounts the foster care of Lore Segal as she flees Nazi persecution. Having read Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz, I was compelled to further explore the vast memoirs from survivors of Nazi oppression. However, while Morris’ account of Lale Sokolov depicts harrowing torture and murder, Lore Segal rather presents an innocent child’s standpoint for whom the terror of war means the … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Other People’s Houses’ by Lore Segal