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Win A Curious Career by Lynn Barber

What's your favourite Lynn Barber interview? The one when her front tooth fell out in front of Oliver Stone? When she got Salvador Dali to talk about le mast-urb-ation? Or when she asked Norman Mailer if "he thought women should have babies as a souvenir of a great fuck". It's as hard as trying to pick one's favourite Beatles song - there are just too many hits to choose from. (Incidentally, why is there not an online archive of all Barber's interviews? Please someone build one, quick.)

Barber's first memoir, An Education, got turned into a film with Carey Mulligan. Her second, A Curious Career, has just come out to (mostly) spectacular reviews, which you can read below. Packed with anecdotes and containing some of her most famous interviews, the book takes readers from Barber's early days as an editorial assistant at Penthouse to her time as the most notorious and celebrated interviewer on Fleet Street.

Thanks to Bloomsbury, five Omnivore Digest readers can win their own copy of A Curious Career. To enter the giveaway, tell us: What was the title of the sex manual Barber wrote in the 1970s? 
Entries to competitions@theomnivore.co.uk by Monday 26 May.

FICTION
The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"“Mr. Cunningham’s most original and emotionally piercing book to date ... a story that showcases the author’s strengths as a writer and few of his liabilities." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times VS "“Perhaps Cunningham does manage to dramatise the way hope leads to devastation and devastation hope ... but if he does it was lost on me.” Grace McCleen, The Independent
NON-FICTION
A Curious Career by Lynn Barber
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Fascinating… If she touches little on herself and her own life in this book, the few revelations she does make are touching and moving." Susan Hill, The Times VS "Throughout A Curious Career, vitriol is the author’s inspiration... Unlike the greatest interviewer ever, Mavis Nicholson, she doesn’t appear to have a woman’s instincts to be kind" Roger Lewis, Daily Mail
HATCHET JOB OF THE WEEK

Till Eleanor Catton came along, Ned Beauman was, at the tender age of 27, the youngest person ever nominated for the Man Booker long list. In his Sunday Times's review of Beauman's third novel Glow, Andrew Holgate thought the wunderkind had lost his shine: 
"As well as stretching credulity beyond breaking point, Beauman proves inept at marshalling his material. Loose ends are left dangling, the trail of clues becomes tortuous, and four times he has to stop and give us long-winded background essays to fill in the gaps. (“Maybe I ought to start from the beginning,” begins one particularly unpromising, tension-sapping intervention.) The whole thing feels like a painter-decorator doing a botch job and filling in the cracks as he goes along.”
Read all the reviews

Second prize this week goes to Germaine Greer for her truly ferocious attack on the failures of new feminism in the New Statesman.


This issue of the Digest has been sponsored by the online wine merchant Red Squirrel Wine. Thanks, guys!
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"This novel shows a writer at the peak of her powers, displaying an innate capacity to convey the entirety of a period, a place or a feeling in a single sentence" Elizabeth Day, The Guardian VS "At worst, it’s a homophobic portrayal, but at the very least, it suggests that the author does not understand gay men." Jami Attenberg, The Washington Post
Lost for Words by Edward St Aubyn
Reviews Buy | Comment |
"St Aubyn has the discernment of a born critic. His intricate satire, written with restless wit, overrides fiction, holding what passes for literature up to the light." Kate Kellaway, The Observer VS " Much of the comedy is so flabby it would be kind to call it broad. Wildly remote from credibility, it prevents the novel from getting any telling satiric purchase on literary prize-judging and how it can go awry.” Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times
Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"Pinto can make you laugh, cry and long to visit Mumbai. That’s the beauty of his writing — where others would revert to cliché, he brings out the true spirit of a city" Abhijeet Ahluwalia, The Times VS "“There are flashes of telling detail, but mostly we miss the particular experience of living with mental illness." Claire Lowdon, The Sunday Times
Best of the rest
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee, Glow by Ned Beauman, Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda, The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert
Eleanor Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes
Reviews | Buy Comment |
"I doubt the reader will close this brilliant biography unmoved by this extraordinary woman’s life and untroubled by the inevitable questions it raises about global capitalism now." Jeanette Winterson, The Telegraph VS "The book, so astute on personal details and relationships, goes woolly when it deals with ideas." Bee Wilson, The Sunday Times
The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher
Reviews | Buy | Comment |
"...what really elevates this book beyond another journalist’s memoir is the tenacity with which he goes about investigating Princip’s history. His discovery of Princip’s early school reports after trawling through several archives is a moment of genuine excitement and surprise." Misha Glenny, The Telegraph
An Encyclopaedia of Myself by Jonathan Meades
Reviews | Buy | Comment |

"I loved this book. Meades is a very great prose stylist, with a dandy’s delight in the sound and feel of words, and we are lucky to have him." Ian Thomson, The Spectator VS "If, like me, you suffer a vulgar craving for some narrative oomph and emotional engagement, then Meades is a frustrating, often maddening read." Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times
Best of the rest
Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians by Richard Kerridge, Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War by Jerry WhiteWar and Gold by Kwasi Kwarteng, I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside
AUTHOR PITCH
An English Baby Boomer by Neil Hall

What was the hardest bit of your book to write?
Describing the tortuous decision process as to whether or not to keep our baby in 1968 when my then girlfriend — now my wife — became pregnant. Thank God we did. The baby became our dear son, Tarquin. Readers have commented on the fact that I have been very honest in my book and have not shied away from grasping the nettle when necessary.

If you would like to be featured in Author Pitch email authorpitch@theomnivore.com
 
Pick of the paperbacks
An Officer and A Spy by Robert Harris, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman, Solo by William Boyd, The Lie by Helen Dunmore
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