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Cheryl's books

Currently reading

The Collected Stories
John McGahern
Middlemarch
George Eliot
Omensetter's Luck
William H. Gass
Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
A Naked Singularity (Paper)
Sergio De La Pava
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
Geoff Dyer
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Claire Tomalin
Maps and Legends
Michael Chabon
The Complete Short Stories - Agnes Owens After reading the first story in this collection I felt like I was on the verge of discovering a wonderful new writer. Except she's not new. The first story, Arabella, was terrific: mordantly black, funny, strong punchy narrative and descriptions.
That story remained one of the strongest, but there were many others too that delighted. The wicked black streak showed up periodically, especially in the later stories.
The writing is direct and concise. The author disappears, leaving only the reader and the characters. The stories mostly are of the working poor, unemployed and unemployable, set in Scotland. Agnes Owens came from that world, and she wrote of what she knew, and she has done it brilliantly.