Thursday, 2 March 2017

Pop-Up Review: Helen Rawlings reviews J.M.Coetzee's Disgrace (1999)

Another Pop-Up Review for World Book Day 2017. Helen Rawlings (English Literature) reviews J.M.Coetzee's Disgrace and wins herself a Book Token.


David Lurie, a college professor in South Africa,  twice divorced,  plodding through life and getting his sexual kicks visiting a prostitute weekly. He embarks on an illicit affair with his student Mel and is found out and sacked.  He escapes to his  daughter Lucy's ranch but carries his misfortune with him. Lucy is raped in a  brutal attack and David is  left helpless, as he appears to have been with all the women in his life.  Disgrace won the Nobel prize in 2003. A real page turner, whilst it is hard to like David  it is intriguing to see how he interacts with people particularly women. Gritty read about some  uncomfortable subjects but  engaging and well written would highly recommend.  

Pop-Up Review: Anne Johnston reviews Sun-mi Hwang's The Dog Who Dared to Dream (2012; English translation 2016)

Anne Johnston (English Literature) marks World Book Day 2017 with a review of one of her many favourite books, Sun-mi Hwang's The Dog Who Dared to Dream.




My favourite book, which is a very hard thing to define as it always fluctuates, is currently The Dog Who Dared to Dream by South Korean author Sun-mi Hwang. The book follows the life of a dog called 'Scraggly', so named because of her fuzzy black/blue and white fur which is so different to that of her brothers and sisters. So different that her own mother shows little interest in her, as do many other characters in the book. The story follows Scraggly though many losses, physical and emotional. Also paralleling the life of her owner, an old man whose hard exterior is not always what it seems. Scraggly and the old man both have dreams, but in reality dreams are not always easy to reach. If you want to read a book about bravery, perseverance and love then give this a try.

Pop-Up Review: Rose Wolfe-Emery reviews A Little Life by by Hanya Yanigihara (reprinted 2016)

To mark World Book Day, Rose Wolfe-Emery (English Literature) reviews A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara.


A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara is a truly compelling tale of love and endurance. Set in New York City, this story spans the lives of four friends and graduates each vying for happiness and success. While the narrative initially accounts for the creative and personal struggles of each character, Jude soon becomes the focal point of the novel. Haunted by memories of an unthinkably traumatic past, the reader wonders whether Jude will ever be able to lead the ‘little life’ he so desires. An immense tale that deftly chronicles the happiness and heartbreak of numerous characters, A Little Life touches everyone who reads it.


Pop-Up Review: Daniel Solomon reviews David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (2006)

And here's the first Pop-Up Review in celebration of World Book Day. Thanks to Daniel Solomon (English Lit & Creative Writing).



David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest: Where to even begin. Ostensibly a 1100 page novel about a tennis academy, a rehab center and the geopolitical turmoil that follows the conglomeration of the USA, Canada and Mexico into a new tri-state ├╝ber-nation, it is an obsessive look into the quotidian and minutae of American Life and a prophetic vision of our times told from the mid nineties. It's also hilarious, heartbreaking, draining, enriching and staggeringly erudite, and absolutely essential.

Celebrate World Book Day with a Pop-Up Review


To celebrate World Book Day, we want your pop-up reviews. Tell us about your favourite book (and why) in 100 words or less. We will post them here, and give you a Book Token for your writing. Please contact Charlotte Cottenham, Social Media Intern, or Hilary Weeks hweeks@glos.ac.uk

We regret that we can give prizes to University of Gloucestershire students only.

Friday, 24 February 2017



I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden Daffodils;                  Wordsworth
         
 
The daffodils have arrived at the University of Gloucestershire, just in time for our second year module on Romanticism, where we have been examining Wordsworth’s poetry and getting to grips with topics such as memory, childhood, ‘nature’ and ‘spots of time’.


Friday, 17 February 2017


Really interesting event about the poet Edward Thomas that will take place at the Market Theatre in Ledbury.

Here is a quote from the event's website:


Poet Ted Hughes called Edward Thomas ‘father of us all’. Today he continues to inspire many of our great writers.  You are invited to join a celebration of Edward Thomas’s poetry and prose, hosted by the Friends of the Dymock Poets.  This lively afternoon will commemorate the centenary of Thomas’s death in the First World War, and will include a potted history of Edward Thomas’s writing, readings of his greatest and best-loved poems, and reflections Thomas’s observations on countryside, nature, language and the emotions.


Click on this link for more details and to book:
http://themarkettheatre.com/shows/remembering-edward-thomas/


There's also material relating to Edward Thomas in the University of Gloucestershire's Special Collections and Archives:
http://www.glos.ac.uk/life/libraries/pages/special-collections-and-archives.aspx