Meanwhile, Over At Quadrapheme is my new way of showcasing the work I do for Quadrapheme: 21st Century Literature. It’s an online literary review for which I’m the managing editor. I also still write reviews. Here’s a taster for my latest, of Sarah Hall’s The Wolf Border:
In The Wolf Border (Faber, March 2015) Hall returns to the Cumbrian setting that has served her writing so well in the past. The fictional Earl of Annerdale (a title modeled, clearly, on the real-life Earls of Lonsdale) has pledged his money and substantial private land to be the testing ground for reintroducing grey wolves to the English wilderness. He wants to hire Rachel Caine–a wildlife biologist, Cumbrian by birth, who fled Britain at the earliest opportunity for the vast anonymity of the Chief Joseph Reservation in Idaho–to manage the project. Rachel is, at first, reluctant: she interviews, but rejects the Earl’s offer. Several months later, with the death of her demanding and unconventional mother, she reconsiders and accepts, and the rest of the novel covers her attempts to manage the wolves’ best interests while also navigating the Earl’s personal agenda and her relationship with her own estranged brother.
I absolutely loved it: it’s one of the best novels I’ve read this year, and its exclusion from the Baileys Prize long list is incomprehensible to me. For the rest of the review, click here.