Archive for the ‘The Guardian’ Category

Migliori libri anglo-asiatici del 2010: The Guardian

23 dicembre 2010

I migliori libri anglo-asiatici del 2010. The Guardian ha pubblicato la top ten di Nikesh Shukla.

LibOn propone l’articolo originale


Nikesh Shukla. Wednesday 22 December 2010

From Hanif Kureishi to Helen Walsh, the novelist celebrates books that find room for naked raves and Bruce Springsteen as well as wrangles over arranged marriages

1. Hanif Kureishi – The Black Album (Faber)

While The Buddha of Suburbia is a masterfully comic tale of rise and fall that loves its characters, there’s something a lot more sinister about The Black Album, making it the oddball in his output. It seems to foreshadow works like Four Lions, City of Tiny Lights and even the forthcoming Ours Are the Streets by decades, and is written with the energy and exuberance of Kureishi’s early work, embodied by the raw funk of Prince’s eponymous album, and the dizzying chemical overload of the ectasy that fills the rave scenes. It charts clean-cut Shahid’s trip into hedonism and flirtations with fundamentalism with eerie prescience, and its take on the classic Anglo-Asian identity crisis tale throws a cleancut, sheltered lad in at the deep end of a naked rave party.

2. Hari Kunzru – My Revolutions (Penguin)

Hari Kunzru takes a break from technology-obsessed India and colonial India to deliver a bittersweet tale of the realities that befall an activist commune, and the secrets and regrets that haunt them well into their dotage. The slow-burn reveal of how all the empassioned polemics and free love fell out is beautifully explored, from the impetuousness of their adolescent smugness into the 20-20 hindsight of guilt and regret. Refreshingly un-brown, which is a rare allowance by a publisher for an “ethnic” author.

3. Sarfraz Manzoor – Greetings from Bury Park (Bloomsbury)

The way this book deals with how a song, a band, a movement can transend race and religion, colour and creed is one close to my heart, and reading about Manzoor‘s tribal bond with first Bruce Springsteen and then rock’n’roll reminds me of how hip-hop helped me to belong to a club where I knew little of the other members. His descriptions of being British and Muslim and being unsure of how to reconcile the two is wonderfully honest, painful, brutal and triumphant, and damn, he’s been one of my must-read journalists for years. It pretty much says everything I want to say about dual heritage and about music but better and makes me … well, feel like I should have given up and he should be writing this list not me.

4. Sathnam Sanghera – The Boy with the Topknot (Penguin)

When successful journalist and materialist Sathnam Sanghera was 24 he discovered his father and sister were both suffering from a severe mental illness he hadn’t been aware of. As he researched their conditions and how they had come to be hidden (through ignorance of schizophrenia and guilty family secrets) he started to piece together his history and that of his parents. Each family member is memorable, from his silent father obsessed with BBC Parliament despite his lack of English; his mother, neurotic and obsessed with finding him a wife of equal caste, holding the family together; his brother with his growing obsessions with fashion icons of the times and his two sisters, funny and nasty by turns. The book closes with a letter to his mother, explaining the choices he has made and the secret life of dating white girls and the amount of panic and depression it causes him. But its also warm and funny – especially where he has his hair cut for the first time, a big Sikh no-no.

5. Helen Walsh – Once Upon a Time In England (Canongate)

A story of one moment that changes everything, and leaves a couple desperately in love spending a lifetime passively battling each other for release. Here, it is a brutal act of racism against working man’s club singer Robbie’s beautiful Tamil wife, Susheela. Set in the north, and featuring plenty of small-town suffocation, dreams fade and hope dims, lives collide and their children grow up in that inbetween world, never quite sure of who they’re meant to be and who their parents wish they were. A bittersweet joy to read.

6. Niven Govinden – Graffiti My Soul (Canongate)

The ultimate coming-of-age novel, tenderly exploring the suffocation of suburbia, in small-town Surrey where Verapen, a half-Tamil, half-Jewish running obsessive reminisces about the girl he has just buried, his love Moon Suzuki. He ascribes rules to what he can handle in his life (not much beyond the running), which is difficult given that his parents, in the midst of their own crises, aren’t following the rules set out for him. Govinden‘s charm, warmth and ability to wring a heart-wrenching tale out of teenage life make this less a retread of culture-clash concerns and more about the perils and pitfalls of being a teenager in the grand tradition of JD Salinger.

7. Anjali Joseph – Saraswati Park (Fourth Estate)

The beauty of the whole diaspora writing thing is seeing how Anglo-Asians write about living here and there, back in the “desh”. Another debut of note from this year was Anjali Joseph who manages to write about a startlingly modern India, with slackers and movers and shakers and lovers familiar from contemporary London. It captures the middle classes of Mumbai with still, quiet clarity and tells a tragicomic and tale about modern family life.

8. Gautam Malkani – Londonstani (Fourth Estate)

Grossly mismarketed as highbrow literary fiction, Londonstani works best as a YA novel aimed at showing teenagers how easily they descend into warring tribes. It’s a Lord of the Flies for our time, set in a west London tense with Muslim/Hindu/Sikh tensions, wicked mobile phones and the purest of friendships poisoned by the lure of money. As the characters try and escape their urban-suburban existences, external forces seek to use them against others. A poignant and gritty book about the difference between friendship and tribalism.

9. Rajeev Balasubramanyam – In Beautiful Disguises (Bloomsbury)

Balasubramanyam‘s only book released in the UK has moments of frivolity and fantasy that exploit Bollywood tropes with such imagination and wonder that you can’t help but be spirited away. The narrator, burdened with a bullying dad, obedient sister and mute mother, is moments away from the obligatory arranged marriage scenario. Her only escape is the pictures, where she learns to ape Holly Golightly and the other starlets. Escaping to the big bad city she learns that … well… I’m sure you can guess. But this is a beautifully energetic book that captures the spirit of escapism and its collision with reality superbly.

10. William Sutcliffe – Are You Experienced? (Penguin)

Ahh levity, my old friend – welcome back, after the heart-wrenching emotiveness of some of the books above, sometimes you just want to read about backpackers trying to find “the real India” – all toilet disasters and sexy gurus and scam artists ahoy as Sutcliffe leads us from Delhi to Goa via recreational sex and drugs, and boy, is it fun. And surprising that the funniest book on this Anglo-Asian list was written by someone more Anglo than Asian.






I migliori libri inglesi del 2010: The Guardian

29 novembre 2010

I migliori libri dell’anno:2010. Articolo pubblicato da

Best books of the year: 2010

How many picked Jonathan Franzen? And who’s the only one to recommend Tony Blair’s autobiography? Writers and public figures tell the Observer about their favourite books of 2010

    Sam Mendes

    Jonathan Franzen, Freedom Buy it

    Jonathan Franzen‘s Freedom (Fourth Estate) was head and shoulders above any other book this year: moving, funny, and unexpectedly beautiful. I missed it when it was over. Stephen Sondheim’s Finishing the Hat (Virgin) was like its author: fascinating, precise, opinionated, brilliant. I loved Stewart Lee’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate (Faber). Never has anyone made me feel so close to the terrifying and occasionally exhilarating insanity that is stand-up comedy.

    Sebastian Faulks

    I enjoyed – if that can be the word – The Big Short by Michael Lewis (Allen Lane), an account of how a group of people contrived to bring the banking system to its knees, to take much of your money and many of your jobs, to condemn your children to a life of debt – and got away unpunished, with millions in their own back pockets. It’s in the interest of bankers to pretend that their work is too technical for lay people to follow, but in an account such as Michael Lewis’s, it’s really not that difficult. It’s quite clear what they did. Harder to understand is how they got away with it.

    Rachel Johnson
    Editor, the Lady

    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir Buy it

    Hitch-22 (Atlantic) by Christopher Hitchens is like a tin of Pedigree Chum: solid, meaty nourishment. Hitchens is incapable of writing a boring sentence. When he asks himself what he’d like to be different if he had to be the Hitch all over again, he answers: “more money, an even sturdier penis, slightly different parents, a briefer latency period”. I cried several times during Deborah Devonshire’s memoir Wait for Me! (John Murray), mainly at deaths: sister Nancy, brother Tom, and her three stillborn children. The calibre of events, cast and author could hardly be higher and Debo has gracefully potted an extraordinary life (though ordinary to her) with kindness and humour.

    Tristram Hunt
    Historian and politician

    Putting his little local difficulty behind him, Orlando Figes showed in Crimea: The Last Crusade (Allen Lane) why he is such a stellar historian. As ever, it mixes strong narrative pace, a grand canvas and compelling ideas about current geopolitical tensions. In The Lost City of Stoke-on-Trent (Frances Lincoln), Matthew Rice, partner to top potter Emma Bridgewater, provides a clarion call to the “Five Towns” to stop knocking down the bottle kilns and pot banks and start preserving one of the civic gems of England. New Labour never had much time for history, but since the end of office, you can’t stop them writing the stuff. Peter Mandelson’s The Third Man (HarperPress) has the most authentic feel in a genuine account of his role in, out, in, out and in government.

    Jeremy Hunt
    Culture secretary

    Tony Blair, A Journey Buy it

    When I fought the last election I never imagined I would be in cabinet with Nick Clegg – and certainly never thought I would be recommending Tony Blair’s A Journey (Hutchinson). But he has done politicians a favour by reinventing the art of the memoir in a way not achieved since Alan Clark’s Diaries. Funny and self-deprecating, they are also deeply manipulative beneath the surface. His best advice to ministers? Don’t make enemies deliberately as you’ll make plenty accidentally.

    Wendy Cope

    I once tried to write a prose memoir but couldn’t find the right tone of voice. Three authors who did published books this year. Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens (Atlantic), Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay (Picador), and My Father’s Fortune: A Life by Michael Frayn (Faber) are all beautifully written. On my summer holiday I was surprised to find myself enjoying a fat book about the Soviet economy. Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty (Faber) mixes fact and fiction, with the benefit of scrupulous notes to tell the reader which is which. Without the notes I would have found it frustrating. With them it’s terrific.

    Shami Chakrabarti
    Civil rights campaigner

    Dispatches from the Dark Side Buy it

    Gareth Peirce is such a private person that despite a momentous career (representing the Birmingham Six, Lockerbie families and Guantánamo detainees among others), Dispatches from the Dark Side (Verso) is her first book. It is a timely reminder of the darker side of lawlessness in freedom’s name. The End of the Party by Andrew Rawnsley (Penguin) is an impartial journalistic examination of New Labour by one of Britain’s finest political commentators.

    Craig Raine
    Poet and critic

    Hampton on Hampton (Faber) is a series of interviews with the playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton that amounts to an artistic autobiography. Intellectually intimate, unpretentious, informative, entertaining, anecdotal, fearless, funny, serious. Simon Armitage, the best poet of his generation, has produced a book of prose-poems, Seeing Stars (Faber), full of compelling, quirky, inventive, surreal tales. In January, I read his incomparable translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This autumn, I was charmed by the comedy of these spellbinding dispatches.

    Michael Palin

    Alain de Botton, A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary Buy it

    I enjoyed Chef by Jaspreet Singh (Bloomsbury). Its themes of food and war and love and poetry form a series of intricate tightropes that the author treads skilfully, bringing us, in a short book, a lot of pleasures. I read Alain de Botton’s A Week at the Airport (Profile) with smiles of recognition, nods of approval and sighs of admiration. Most people can’t wait to get away from airports. I’m very glad he stayed.


The best summer books

8 luglio 2010

Dal sito del Guardian i migliori libri dell’estate consigliati da giornalisti e scrittori tra i quali Geoff Dyer, Zadie Smith, Hari Kunzru, Luke Jennings, Adam Mars-Jones

Christos Tsiolkas The Slap

Barbara Demick Nothing to Envy

Attica Locke Black Water Rising

Kathryn Stockett The Help

Andrea Levy The Long Song

Helen Simpson In-Flight Entertainmen

Paul Murray Skippy Dies

Sarah Waters The Little Stranger

Alan Garner Thursbitch

Curtis Sittenfeld American Wife

Mrs Laura Bush Spoken From the Heart

Colm Tóibín Brooklyn

Luke Jennings Blood Knots

Maggie Gee My Animal Life

Richard Holmes The Age of Wonder

Marilynne Robinson Absence of Mind

Robert Irwin Satan Wants Me

Louise Levene A Vision of Loveliness

LJ Davis A Meaningful Life

Easton Ellis Imperial Bedrooms

William Dalrymple Nine Lives

Sam Lipsyte The Ask

Fonte: The Guardian, Sunday 4 July 2010

Mondiali di calcio 2010: top 10 football books

11 giugno 2010

Dal sito del Guardian i 10 migliori libri sul gioco del calcio scelti da Mihir Bose, giornalista sportivo e autore di  The World Cup: All You Need to Know:

1. The Football Man: People and Passions in Soccer by Arthur Hopcraft

2. Soccer Syndrome: From the Primaeval Forties by John Moynihan

3. The Glory Game by Hunter Davies

4. All Played Out: The full story of Italia ’90 by Pete Davies

5. Among The Thugs by Bill Buford

6. Only a Game?: The Diary of a Professional Footballer by Eamon Dunphy

7. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

8. Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed and the Souring of British Football by Tom Bower

9. The Last Game: Love, Death and Football by Jason Cowley

10. The Ball is Round by David Goldblatt

Fonte: The Guardian, Wednesday 9 June 2010

Da tenere d’occhio nel 2010: in uscita nei mesi di maggio e giugno

18 maggio 2010

Dal sito del Guardian i libri da tenere d’occhio in uscita a maggio e giugno 2010

– Fiction

David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Sceptre)

Jonathan Coe , The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim (Viking)

Andrew O’Hagan,  The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe (Faber)

Alan Warner ci riporta nel mondo di The Soprano con il nuovo romanzo The Stars in the Bright Sky (Vintage)

In-Flight Entertainment (Vintage) la nuova raccolta di racconti di Helen Simpson

The Slap (Atlantic), l’edizione inglese dell’ultimo romanzo di Christos Tsiolkas, vincitore del Commonwealth Writers’ prize.

– Guerra

Dall’autore di The Perfect Storm, War by Sebastian Junger (HarperCollins)

– Tecnologia

The Googlization of Everything, by Siva Vaidhyanathan (Profile).

– Poesia

Dragon Talk, by Fleur Adcock (Bloodaxe).

– Psicologia

Why We Lie: The Source of Our Disasters, by Dorothy Rowe (HarperCollins).

– Libri per bambini

The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Orion) (Età 12+)


– Fiction

L’attesissimo seguito del romanzo di Yann Martel Life of Pi, Beatrice and Virgil (Canongate)

Juan Gabriel Vasquez, scrittore sudamericano autore di  The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana (Bloomsbury)

Joseph O’Connor, Ghost Light (Vintage).

– Letteratura

Encounter, Milan Kundera (Faber). Una nuova collezione si saggi di Milan Kundera

– Industria

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: The Story of Steam, Industry and Invention, by William Rosen (Random)

Fonte: The Guardian, Saturday 2 January 2010

Da tenere d’occhio nel 2010 – in uscita nei mesi di aprile e maggio

2 aprile 2010

Dal sito del Guardian i libri da tenere d’occhio in uscita ad aprile e maggio 2010

– Fiction

Philip Pullman, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Canongate)

Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal (Penguin), il seguito del besteseller The Siege,

Mick Jackson, The Widow’s Tale (Faber)

Roddy Doyle completa la trilogia “The Last Roundup” su Henry Smart, The Dead Republic (Vintage). Una trilogia che attraverso gli occhi del suo protagonista racconta tutta la storia d’Irlanda nel ventesimo secolo.

Dopo Disobedience, che racconta la comunità ebraica ortodossa a Londra, il nuovo romanzo di Naomi Alderman The Lessons (Viking).

Dopo il successo del 2007 di Darkmans, il nuovo romanzo di Nicola Barker, Burley Cross Postbox Theft (Fourth Estate)

– Letteratura

Shakespeare, Sex and Love, by Stanley Wells (Oxford).

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro (Faber).

– Poesia:

White Egrets, by Derek Walcott (Faber).


Katherine the Queen, by Linda Porter (MacMillan).

– Fisica

The Edge of Physics: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Cosmology, by Anil Ananthaswamy (Duckworth).

– Fiction

David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Sceptre)

Jonathan Coe , The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim (Viking)

Andrew O’Hagan,  The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe (Faber)

Alan Warner ci riporta nel mondo di The Soprano con il nuovo romanzo The Stars in the Bright Sky (Vintage)

In-Flight Entertainment (Vintage) la nuova raccolta di racconti di Helen Simpson

The Slap (Atlantic), l’edizione inglese dell’ultimo romanzo di Christos Tsiolkas, vincitore del Commonwealth Writers’ prize.

– Guerra

Dall’autore di The Perfect Storm, War by Sebastian Junger (HarperCollins)

– Tecnologia

The Googlization of Everything, by Siva Vaidhyanathan (Profile).

– Poesia

Dragon Talk, by Fleur Adcock (Bloodaxe).

– Psicologia

Why We Lie: The Source of Our Disasters, by Dorothy Rowe (HarperCollins).

– Libri per bambini

The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Orion) (Età 12+)

Fonte: The Guardian, Saturday 2 January 2010

Da tenere d’occhio nel 2010 – in uscita nel mese di marzo

1 marzo 2010

Dal sito del Guardian i libri da tenere d’occhio nei primi tre mesi del 2010.

– Fiction

Ian McEwan, Solar (Vintage)

Dopo il successo di The Road Home (premio Orange) Trespass di Rose Tremain (Vintage)

Don DeLillo, Point Omega (Macmillan)

Il romanzo d’esordio di Alex Preston, This Bleeding City (Faber) e Marilyn Chin, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (Hamish Hamilton).

– Economia

Michael Lewis, autore di Liar’s Poker, The Big Short, (Penguin)

– Cosmologia

Are We Alone in the Universe? Paul Davies (Penguin).

– Reportage

Zeitoun, Dave Eggers (Penguin), il racconto dei sopravvissuti all’uragano Katrina del 2005.

– Fiction

Jon McGregor, Even the Dogs (Bloomsbury)

Joshua Ferris, The Unnamed (Penguin)

Il nuovo, atteso romanzo di Martin Amis The Pregnant Widow (Vintage), ambientato in Italia, nell’estate del 1970.

Dopo il successo di Small Island (2004) il nuovo romanzo di Andrea Levy The Long Song (Headline Review).

Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber).

La prima traduzione inglese del libro considerato il capolavoro dello scrittore francese, premio Nobel nel 2008, JMG Le Clezio: Desert (Atlantic),

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies (Penguin)

– Filosofia

What Darwin Got Wrong, Jerry Fodor & Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (Profile).

– Arte

Van Gogh, by Tim Hilton (HarperPress). La prima biografia completa di Vincent van Gogh.

– Femminismo

Dall’autrice di The New Feminism (1999), Living Dolls,  Natasha Walter (Little, Brown).

– Volo

Fly by Wire, by William Langewiesche (Penguin).

– Filosofia

Michelangelo’s Finger: An Exploration of Everyday Transcendence, Raymond Tallis (Atlantic)

– Psicologia

How Many Friends Does One Person Need? by Robin Dunbar (Faber)

– Poesia

The Wrecking Light, Robin Robertson (Macmillan).

– Libri per bambini

Fighting Ruben Wolfe, by Markus Zuzak (Random House) (Età 11+)

Blue Chameleon, Emily Gravett (Macmillan) (Età 2+)

TimeRiders, Alex Scarrow (Penguin). (Età 10+)

– Fiction

Dal premio Nobel Orhan Pamuk The Museum of Innocence (Faber)

EL Doctorow, Homer and Langley (Little, Brown)

John Wyndham, Plan for Chaos (Penguin)

Belinda Bauer, Blacklands (Transworld)

– Storia della Scienza

Seeing Further: The Story of Science & the Royal Society, edited by Bill Bryson (HarperPress)

– Memorie

Must You Go?My Life with Harold Pinter, Antonia Fraser (Orion). Un libro di memorie di uno dei più clelebri matrimoni letterari del nostro tempo.

– Poesia

Love Poems, Carol Ann Duffy (Picador)

A Hospital Odyssey, Gwyneth Lewis (Bloodaxe)

– Musica

The Cello Suites: In Search of a Baroque Masterpiece, Eric Siblin (Vintage)

Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay, John Lanchester (Penguin). Una guida lucida e illuminante sul mondo della finanza e del credito.

– Libri per bambini

Enchanted Glass, Diana Wynne Jones (HarperCollins). (Età 9+)

Fonte: The Guardian, Saturday 2 January 2010

Dieci romanzi per conoscere il modo arabo

19 gennaio 2010

10 romanzi ambientati nel mondo arabo scelti da Matt Rees, giornalista e scrittore di polizieschi, nato in inghilterra, dal 1996 vive a Gerusalemme.

I libri scelti da Rees offrono, in maniere diverse, un modo per avvicinarsi e conoscere il mondo arabo.

1. Wolf Dreams by Yasmina Khadra

2. Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles

3. Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali

4. Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz

5. Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif

6. The Yacoubian Building by Alaa al-Aswany

7. The Secret Life of Saeed (The Pessoptimist) by Emile Habiby

8. Mountolive by Lawrence Durrell

9. Prairies of Fever by Ibrahim Nasrallah

10. The Rock: A Seventh Century Tale of Jerusalem by Kanaan Makiya

Fonte: The Guardian, Wednesday 13 January 2010

1989-2009: vent’anni dalla caduta del Muro di Berlino

6 novembre 2009

Dal sito del Guardian i 10 libri da leggere:

The Berlin Wall 13 August 1961 – 9 November 1989″  Frederick Taylor
“The File”  Timothy Garton Ash
“Berlin Game”  Len Deighton
” Philip Hensher
“The Wall Jumper”
Peter Schneider
Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall” Anna Funder
“The Floating Book
A Novel of Venice” Michelle Lovric
“Russian Disco”
Wladimir Kaminer
“Twelve Years
” An American Boyhood in East Germany” Joel Agee
“A Little Stranger
” Candia McWilliam

Fonte: The Guardian, (25 August 2009)

Raymond Carver: Beginners

6 ottobre 2009

A quasi trent’anni di distanza, “Beginners” raccoglie la versione originale dei racconti pubblicati in “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” nell’aprile 1981, svelando uno scrittore molto diverso da quello conosciuto.

Di alcuni racconti l’editor infatti aveva tagliato il settanta per cento, riducendo nel complesso il libro e cambiando molti titoli e molti finali.

L’articolo del Guardian (Sunday 27 September 2009)

Beginners by Raymond Carver