Thursday, 16 October 2003

Granta 81

Listening to:

S. L. Weiss, sonatas for lute.

Just read:

Granta 81: best of young British novelists 2003 (contents)

This is a fat issue of the literary magazine, and full of mainly good stuff. Some of the pieces are samples from the authors’ novels, while others are self-contained short stories. I particularly liked Monica Ali’s Dinner with Dr. Azad, Hari Kunzru’s Lila.exe (though it didn’t really read like fiction at all), A. L. Kennedy’s Room 536, Rachel Cusk’s After Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac (which you can read online), David Mitchell’s The January man (also online), and Philip Hensher’s In time of war. I liked most of the rest, but didn’t think much of Toby Litt’s The Hare, nor Zadie Smith’s Martha, Martha.

To review next:

Daniel Dennett, Darwin’s dangerous idea.

Some “interactive” links:

  • The Gender Genie, which predicts the sex of the author of a piece of prose (preferably 500 words or more) by doing very simple-minded frequency analyses. Paste your text into it today and see!
  • A while ago, I wrote about doing Cambridge admissions interviews. Now it seems Cambridge is thinking of using a simple test to filter applicants before they get to do an interview. There’s a sample at the Guardian, and you can try seven questions yourself.