On RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed Sinead Gleeson’s Constellations. This striking collection of essays is a wise, diagnostic and generous look at trauma, the body, illness, pain, faith, pregnancy and motherhood, with brilliant flashes of art criticism and political commentary. Nuanced, rich and rewarding, this is a tremendously great book!
Our Book of the Month for July is Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi which has won the Man Booker International Prize. It’s a powerful saga about three sisters living in al-Awafi, an Omani village on the brink of change. Exploring themes of slavery, urbanisation, women’s wisdom, patriarchy and masculinity, it’s a beautiful read. Celestial Bodies is also our Lit Reads title for July.
Click here to hear Kiran’s review on 95bFM’s Loose Reads.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed our July Book of the Month and Lit Reads title Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi which has won the Man Booker International Prize. It’s a powerful saga about three sisters living in al-Awafi, an Omani village on the brink of change. Exploring themes of slavery, urbanisation, women’s wisdom, patriarchy and masculinity, it’s a beautiful read.
The short story is enjoying a resurgence and this new anthology which Kiran reviewed on 95bFM’s Loose Reads Being Various: New Irish Short Stories edited by Lucy Caldwell brings together 24 vibrant and fresh pieces by Irish authors including Sally Rooney, Sinead Gleeson, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery, Lisa McInerney and Eimear McBride. The short story is in fine form!
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed Annie Ernaux’s collective history The Years, which was shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker International Prize. A generous and attentive book, it is where autofiction, biography and sociology intersect. A radical approach to the memoir, Kiran says The Years is extraordinary, a treasure and a tonic.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed Merchants of Truth by Jill Abramson who was just here for the Auckland Writers Festival. It’s a great book for anyone interested in the changing landscape of journalism, and scrutinises four news outlets - the old guard of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and the “disruptive mavericks” Vice and Buzzfeed.
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon Kiran reviewed Saltwater by Jessica Andrews. A superb work of autofiction about fragility, place, the mother/daughter relationship and the body.. Kiran says, “It’s intoxicating. It absolutely knocked me for six!”
It was a bittersweet Loose Reads today as it was our last slot with dear Mikey Havoc who is leaving this week. Kiran spoke about America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo who will be appearing in conversation with Kiran at the Auckland Writers Festival. It’s an extraordinary novel about three generations of Filipina women in San Francisco’s Bay Area.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran reviewed The New Me by Halle Butler, a book she thinks people are going to love! It’s a fresh, modern, dark and cynically funny novel about a 30-year-old temp named Millie. A sharp and sometimes abject look at social mores, neoliberalism, anxiety, female friendship and the modern workplace.
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon Kiran reviewed For the Good Times by David Keenan. Set in Ardoyne in North Belfast during The Troubles in the 1970s, it follows a group of friends who are foot soldiers in the provisional IRA. Bold and energising, it’s a novel about faith, shared identities and everyday transcendance.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia by Tracey Thorn. It’s a lovely memoir about family, music, culture and the crushing boredom of growing up in 1970s suburbia. It’s a wonderful book which celebrates the ordinary over the extraordinary.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads, Kiran reviewed our Time Out Book of the Month for March - The Wall by John Lanchester. It’s a startlingly prescient allegory for our times where The Defenders patrol a Wall to keep out The Others. Looking at climate change and political turbulence, John Lanchester is a brilliant writer.
95bFM's Loose Reads: Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by David Hepworth /
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran reviewed Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated and Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by music journalist David Hepworth. Entertaining and informative, this collection of essays shows how to take music seriously but at the same time, not drain the life out of it.
On 95bFM’s Loose Reads Kiran spoke about the locally produced and beautifully crafted Dirt by Gemma Walsh and Katie Kerr. Not your average cookbook, Dirt is experimental and brings together delicious plant-based recipes paired with poems, writing, and conversations with local writers and thinkers. It would make a lovely gift!
On RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed one of her favourite novels of 2018 In the City of Love’s Sleep by Lavinia Greenlaw. An elegant and eloquent story of love, recovery, repair and beautiful objects.
This week on RNZ’s Nine to Noon, Kiran reviewed Human Relations and Other Difficulties by Mary-Kay Wilmers. Wilmers co-founded the London Review of Books in 1979 and has been its editor since 1992. This collection brings together 23 polished, informative and entertaining self-contained pieces which are fine examples of her wonderfully dry and brittle wit.