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John Burnside

All That Is Solid Melts into Air review - 'a moving debut of life after Chernobyl'

Towards the end of Darragh McKeon's powerful and moving account of the Chernobyl disaster, two old dissidents are discussing the past.

Fair Helen by Andrew Greig - review

This reworking of a ballad about love and politics in 16th-century Scotland is a triumph of suspense In 1772, Thomas Pennant wrote the earliest prose account of the history of Ellen Irvine, the "daughter of Kirkonnel" who "was beloved by two gentlemen at

The Son by Philipp Meyer - review

John Burnside on a remarkable novel about empire-building and our potential for moral courage In his 2001 memoir, Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen , Larry McMurtry offers a succinct, yet highly poignant, account of the inherent tragedy of Texan cultur

Cooking with Bones by Jess Richards - review

The follow-up to her admired debut, Jess Richards's second novel is a magical mystery tour that loses its way If the fable is a wisdom delivery system, then its function remains ever-relevant: to provide dark enlightenment via magical entertainment. It i

The Professor of Truth by James Robertson - review

James Robertson's impressive study of grief was inspired by the Lockerbie plane bombing It is no accident that the two sections of James Robertson 's new novel are subtitled "Ice" and "Fire", reminding us of that astonishing terse poem in which Robert F

Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery - review

John Burnside is gripped by an at times almost unbearably poignant thriller that portrays the flipside of the American dream and how ordinary men can veer into madness Given its essential nature, it comes as no surprise that the American dream gave way s

Guardian Books poetry podcast: John Burnside reads Maxine Kumin

Today John Burnside chooses The Retrieval System by Maxine Kumin, a look at doubling mirrored in its intricate rhyme scheme John Burnside Tim Maby

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories by Sherman Alexie - review

Mordantly witty and sometimes heartbreaking, Sherman Alexie's short stories are quietly addictive The thing to forget straightaway, before approaching the work of Sherman Alexie, is anything you might have heard about him being an author who "just writes