Cultural Life: Georgina Harding, Novelist
Friday 04 May 2012
The Hooligan's Return, an autobiography by the Romanian novelist Norman Manea. Manea left his country and his language (hard thing, for a novelist) and went into exile in the West in 1986. This book records his return home 10 years later. It's difficult at points, painful, moving. In contrast, I found myself re-reading Graham Greene's The Quiet American. It's still brilliant, deep on people, western/eastern relationships and morality, besides being so prescient on 50 years of American foreign policy.
L'Exercice de l'Etat. This had a single showing at the BFI and deserves wider UK distribution. It's a film about the realities of politics: how a French minister of transport is driven off-course, even into a car crash. Clever, funny, shocking, occasionally surreal, and very French. It opens with a naked woman diving into the mouth of a crocodile – but this is the anxious politician's dream, not actuality.
A Walk-on Part: The Fall of New Labour. A dramatisation of Chris Mullin's diaries. This was the reality of politics again, but English-style – no erotic crocodiles here.
Borgen. We've been watching the boxed set compulsively. A Danish woman prime minister begins with the best of intentions, plus a wonderful home and sex life. When all the deals are done, where will she end?
Georgina Harding's novel 'Painter of Silence' is shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. (www.orangeprize.co.uk)
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly