Landfall, By Helen Gordon
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Saturday 11 August 2012
It is not so much what happens in this debut that counts – an art reviewer at a trendy magazine that looks like it's going under seems to be going under herself.
What makes it a quietly impressive read is its unstrained literary quality, with its pensiveness and its sudden flashes of humour.
Alice is grappling with her age (over 30 is perceived as old!) and the long-ago disappearance of her sister.
Though her trajectory resembles Gordon's (a one-time journalist at a trendy magazine) it never succumbs to solipsism.
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