Hurricane Sandy: the most prevailing smell in the book is of the materials that householders use to repair damage. Photograph: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty

The incomparable Mississippian Richard Ford is a great writer, no question about that. More importantly, he is a great American writer. Throughout his(...)

‘I am delighted; it’s such an honour. I never expected it, but to tell you the truth, it’s great to get the money’

Not even the smallest irony is ever lost on Tasmanian Richard Flanagan. He wrote history books before turning to the risky art of fiction. “The(...)

Daniel Kehlmann. Photograph: Sven Paustian

A deeply flawed father gathers his children for what appears to be another of his haphazard outings. Arthur Friedland drives along, holding forth t(...)

Richard Flanagan who won this year’s Man Booker Prize. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Chatto & Windus/PA Wire

Tasmanian Richard Flanagan has won this year’s Man Booker Prize for his majestic sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It is an inten(...)

Norwegian author Per Petterson. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Jim is alone and lost, suffering from a malaise that shifts between apathy and a darker despair that takes the form of blackouts. He has, surprisingly(...)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson. Photograph: Getty

It all began in hardship and raw neglect before it then settled, for many years, into an existence spent on the run that was initially shaped by defia(...)

Ian McEwan: efficiently infiltrates the legal world and its hierarchy of clever debate conducted upon the chessboard of the law, but his novel is knowing and corny. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Ironically the most telling sentence in Ian McEwan’s slight, TV-drama-like new novel comes in the form of a casual observation made by the central cha(...)

Keira Knightley (Cecilia) and James McAvoy (Robbie Turner) in Atonement

1. If he had written nothing else, those first 200 pages of Atonement (2001) would have secured his reputation. A hot, airless afternoon in the rel(...)

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In the time it took one young man to enjoy a solitary swim, everything suddenly appeared to have changed for ever. And it had. Bela Zombory-Moldovan w(...)

Rare writer: Wolfgang Koeppen. Photograph: Brigitte Friedrich

In the beginning there is always a child. The child has experiences and becomes the man or woman who remembers and, perhaps, the artist who imagines, (...)