The idea of The Great American Novel feels like an albatross around the neck of that country’s literature. Sooner or later every white middle-class male writer with any kind of reputation feels obliged to have a stab at it, usually with limited success. Eventually they think it’s time to pack away all the fun stuff like storytelling, energy and plot, and make some big state-of-the-nation address, telling people exactly how things stand in the good ol’ US of A. Interestingly, America’s women writers don’t tend to feel the obligation to grandstand so strongly, and their novels are usually all the better for that.
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Saturday 10 November 2012
France – second biggest economy in the struggling eurozone – is set to tip back into recession by the end of the year, its central bank warned yesterday.
Thursday 08 November 2012
German federal prosecutors say they have charged the surviving member of small group of neo-Nazis with involvement in the murder of nine minorities and a police officer.
Thursday 01 November 2012
Jean-Marc Ayrault plunges government into crisis by challenging Socialist article of faith
Thursday 01 November 2012
The new tax hikes would hit Portugal's cash-strapped population in every area
Wednesday 17 October 2012
Behind the ailing Socialist President is a likely successor who is even more anti-American
Tuesday 09 October 2012
It's become clear that the world will take longer than expected to recover from this financial crash. Austerity, for now, is a forced hand across the EU.
Monday 08 October 2012
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised to deepen his socialist revolution after a comfortable election victory that could extend to 20 years his polarizing leadership of the South American OPEC nation.
Thursday 04 October 2012
In the past 25 years, there has not been another trade union leader as famous as Arthur Scargill. By the mid-1980s, there was hardly an adult in the United Kingdom who could not name the president of the National Union of Mineworkers.
Thursday 04 October 2012
The First Lady has said she regrets a tweet that was read by many as a dig against the mother of President François Hollande's four children. Valérie Trierweiler told the regional daily Ouest-France in an interview published yesterday that the tweet was a "mistake".
Wednesday 03 October 2012
There was no insight on the most important issues of the day, nor did Mr Miliband say anything of any real note for those outside Westminster village
Monday 01 October 2012
What is Labour for? If you could pay a visit back to 1899, a railway signalman from Doncaster called Thomas R Steels would certainly have been able to answer. Exasperated at the lack of a political voice for working people while the wealthy had the Tories and Liberals to stand their corner, he drafted a resolution for his local union branch. It called on the Trade Union Congress to assemble a conference with the support "of all the cooperative, socialistic, trade union and other working-class organisations" to look at how it could win "a better representation of the interests of labour in the House of Commons".
Friday 28 September 2012
An increasingly unpopular President Francois Hollande faces a moment of truth today when his government unveils €30bn of increased taxes and spending cuts in an attempt to honour France's deficit-cutting commitments for next year.
Thursday 27 September 2012
As of 8 a.m. this morning, the most anticipated book of the year was available to read and review without the threat of walloping legal action. Hundreds of fans will be sneaking chapters on their loo-breaks. But has The Casual Vacancy cast a spell on critics?
Wednesday 29 August 2012
This J B Priestley play impressed the critics when it opened in 1935 but flopped after only a few weeks and has since sunk into near oblivion.
Saturday 25 August 2012
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans