Author: Diane

The Brute by Guy des Cars, France, 1951

The Brute by Guy des Cars, France, 1951

When someone suggested that I should read The Brute, I assumed that it would be relatively easy to find a copy. However, this was definitely not the case. The library did not have it, and trying to purchase an English translation was impossible: obviously the book was out of print in English. My French not …

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These Are The Names by Tommy Wieringa, Holland, 2012

These Are The Names by Tommy Wieringa, Holland, 2012

This is a book on many different levels. It is about our need to belong and our search to find the place where we can belong. It is about identity; it is about who we actually are versus who we appear to be. It is about a less-than-perfect world and the migration it spawns. It …

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Appointment Northwest by Peter Skrzynecki, Australia, 2014

Appointment Northwest by Peter Skrzynecki, Australia, 2014

This book tells about Peter Skrzynecki’s appointment to a one-teacher school in Jeogla in the New England district of NSW. The year is 1967; it is Peter’s first appointment after finishing teachers’ college; he is twenty-two years of age; and he has never before lived away from his home in Sydney. Three things stand out …

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The Revenant by Michael Punke, USA, 2002

The Revenant by Michael Punke, USA, 2002

This is the story of Hugh Glass. In 1823 he is a fur trapper, but over the course of the book we learn a little of his past as a ship’s mate, how he was attacked by pirates and his life in an Indian village. His experiences have made him the man he is, and …

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Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, USA, 1952

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, USA, 1952

Baldwin’s novel Go Tell it on the Mountain is autobiographical in the sense that Baldwin, like the central character, John Grimes, grew up in Harlem without ever knowing his biological father and had a religious fanatic as a stepfather – in Baldwin’s case, a Methodist minister, in John’s case, a Pentecostal preacher. There are even …

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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, UK, 1989

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, UK, 1989

This is a brilliant book, beautifully written and intelligently executed. On one level it is about a road trip around the south of England, taken in 1956 by Mr Stevens, the butler from Darlington Hall. On other levels it is about class, the years between the wars, suppressed feelings and, most of all, ‘dignity’. As …

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