• "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"