understand how Rosamond Pike didn’t get an Oscar nomination for A Private War. Her
portrayal of The Times’ war correspondent Marie Colvin was stunningly accurate
and poignant, capturing her courage and determination, her trauma, her
charisma, even her voice and mannerisms to perfection. An inspiring and
bicentenary of polymath John Ruskin is a wide-ranging show of drawings from
nature, paintings, daguerrotypes, plaster casts and printed work. Ruskin
idealised a form of aesthetic beauty, charged with a radical belief that art
was integrated into society, and workers had a right to experience it. A timely
to read Flights by Olga Tokarczuk which won the
Man Booker International Prize in 2018 for its Polish author and Jennifer Croft
(translator). Described as a novel “possessing the
wonder of music”, it’s a travel
journey through stories set over the last four centuries. Like WG Sebald, it
navigates towards the heart of what it means to be human.
Excited by the
new 26 Trees project announced by John Simmons. I hope to get the chance to
write about one of the native species of the North Argyll coastline.
– Sandy Wilkie
recommendation this month is a book of short stories by Lucia Berlin, called A Manual For
Cleaning Women. I’ve only read the first few so far
but am absolutely loving them. In one, a young girl helps her dentist
grandfather pull out all his teeth in one go –
fascinating at the same time. Lucia Berlin died in 2004 and only now seems to
be getting the recognition she deserves – her work has
been compared to Alice Munro and Raymond Carver.
– Jill Hopper
I have been
lucky enough to read some marvellous books during March, the pick of which (and
an unqualified delight) was Old Baggage by Lissa Evans. Set in
1928-29, on and around Hampstead Heath, it follows Mattie Simpkin, a former
militant suffragette, whose committed campaigning saw her imprisoned five
sixty, Mattie’s zest for life and ardour for fairness remain undimmed, yet also
largely unappreciated. Lissa Evans scores a major success, combining a brief
history of the suffragette movement, observation of the hardships confronting
large families in the Depression, and a heart-warming story about retaining
one’s principles as one grows older. She does all that with a light touch, and
great humour, in a thoroughly enchanting prose style.
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