• Going from reference to reference in these glittering pages provides you with an essential reading-list for life

    The Times
  • Invigorating criticism

    Independent on Sunday
  • Biographers, as well as novelists, will find much to celebrate in a collection of essays that is so lavish with quotations from philosophers, essayists and historians... An elegant and thoughtful collection

    Literary Review
  • Reminds us definitively that she is not only one of our best living novelists, but one of our most astute readers, too. We are lucky to have her

    New Statesman
  • A rare and perhaps unique figure; a critic whose insights are full of a sympathetic, creative and re-creative imagination...The mind that produced splendid, strange fictions is also a first-rate critical intelligence... A writer of remarkable, broad sympathies


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