Jesse Ball's new novel Silence Once Begun has just been released by Pantheon. His three previous novels are The Way Through Doors, Samedi the Deafness and Curfew. He's also written several works of verse.
So desperate and hungry were people for accessible fiction that "speaks their language," they turned a bastardized Twilight f**kfest fan-fiction turnip into a pop culture phenomenon. Imagine how well something as sexy as a contemporary Tropic of Cancer or Lolita would do in this day and age?
When I listened earlier this week to Obama's speech on the Libyan intervention, my thoughts kept drifting to Joseph Conrad's unforgettable description of a late-nineteenth century colonialist warship shelling the African coastline.