Sarah Hall

12 ‘Granta’-Anointed Best Young British Novelists on Their Favorite Young British Writers

As you may have heard, earlier this week Granta revealed their once-in-a-decade list of the 20 best young British novelists, an honor that more often than not is a harbinger of success (see Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, Julian Barnes). Curious as to the reading lists of these future international literary stars, we reached out to ask them to tell us about their favorite writers — and though not all of them stuck to the letter of our “young and British” stipulations, they all recommended amazing authors to add to our to-read pile. Check out the favorite writers of 2013’s Best Young British Novelists after the jump, and let us know which ones excite you most in the comments. … Read More

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10 Books to Fill the ‘Girls’-Shaped Hole In Your Life

Last weekend, Lena Dunham’s much talked about HBO show Girls aired its season finale, and though like everyone else, we had our quibbles with the program, we’re finding ourselves more than a little sorry that we don’t have a new episode to look forward to tonight. There’s nothing like it on television, so while we wait for the second season, we thought we’d indulge in a little Girls-esque reading to slake our lust for realistic female friendships, uncomfortable-but-brilliant sex scenes, and bitingly accurate portrayals of semi-lost 20-somethings. Click through to see our recommendations for books to fill the Girls-shaped hole in your life (or just in your Sundays), and if you feel inspired, feel free to add to our list in the comments. … Read More

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Good Writing, Bad Sex: The Best Sex Scenes About the Worst Sex

If we’re being honest: Sometimes sex is bad. It’s not always fireworks. It’s not always trumpeting and transcendent. Cosmic couplings, two-bodies-as-one, those sorts of rolls in the hay don’t happen every time you hit it. Thundering mind-annihilating orgasms are elusive.

And sometimes sex is bad in books — but we’re not talking the Bad Sex in Fiction of the infamous award. We’re not talking nipples like rodent noses or penises like pile-drivers (thanks, Rowan Somerville and Nick Cave). Nope, we’re talking about sex scenes in literature that explore the times when sex is sad, when it’s mournful, melancholy, desperate, violent, lonely, regrettable, necessary, inevitable. The times that leave you emptier than you’d started. These passages eschew the air-brushed fantasy for the messy truth (which is not to say these scenes aren’t erotic in their own ways). Below, the best of bad sex. … Read More

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And the Man Booker Nominees Are…

For fiction writers, the Man Booker Prize is like the Academy Awards. Once summertime roles around, anyone whose novel was published that year eagerly sits by their phone in anticipation of the call letting them know they’ve been nominated for the prestigious literary accolade. Being nominated is good for publicity, but that extra £50,000 ($82,000) prize isn’t something to shake a stick at. Just ask last year’s winner Aravind Adiga whose novel The White Tiger has currently sold over half a million copies.

For those of you who may enjoy a brief respite from reality, here’s a cheat sheet to help you navigate the thirteen nominees.… Read More

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