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Issue 50 / December 2012

July 2012 Update

"If you want to be good at anything, you have to work hard at it. It doesn't just fall from the sky. I work every day at trying to improve my writing, and I really enjoy it. Nothing fascinates me more than putting words together, and seeing how a collection of words can produce quite a profound effect." - PJ Harvey

As the clock ticks down on London 2012 it would appear that Danny Boyle's pastorally themed opening ceremony isn't the sole cause of racing hearts and quickened pulses. Sales of Fifty Shades of Grey continue to soar (it has even been spotted above the clouds), but for readers seeking more cerebral diversions, this smart flowchart offers plenty of non-steamy alternatives.

Ever wondered what your e-reader says about you? Below the LED pages lurks a gizmo that captures everything about your reading habits - how long you spend on a page, the lines you choose to share with friends, and how you compare to other readers of the same book. Begs the question who's reading who? This creeping digital espionage is just a small part of why Nick Hornby prefers to side with the dark forces of vested interest.

This bumper issue is packed with winners. Mona Simpson shares her week and ruminates on her Syrian connections. Jake Arnott picks out Latin America as a hotbed of exciting literary fiction, and we have interviews with two of the region's brightest stars, in Mexico's Valeria Luiselli and Argentina's Carlos Gamerro. Joanna Kavenna and Kirsten Tranter each offer a distinctive take on literature and friendship, while Carol Rifka Brunt looks for the most constructive and convincing way to kill a character. There's a tasty Top 10 from Kerry Hudson, fiction from Alex Preston and book recommendations by Keith Ridgway.

On your marks...

Farhana Gani, July 2012

Tuesday, 17 July, 2012

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