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)
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP