Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?

Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?

Article excerpt

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers.

Daniel Binney, postgraduate administrator in the department of history, Classics and archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London, is reading Simon Price and Peter Thonemann's The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (Allen Lane, 2010). "Charting early European settlements and civilisations into their (often surviving) graves or into classical splendour, this absorbing and detailed journey covers the physical and conceptual emergence of classical Europe from the power of Near Eastern neighbours, through its literally storied lifetime, until its torpid moribund enervation under Christianity."

Petra de Vries, gender historian at the University of Amsterdam, is reading Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (St Martin's Press, 2011). "A seemingly ordinary family is undermined by past and present emotional forces. Superb dialogue allows us to get to know Walter and Patty intimately, along with their struggle with their adolescent kids and their cool, charming friend from college, Richard (a time bomb in the relationship?). But why is this fascinating novel called Freedom if it is all about how people limit each other?"

Mary Evans, visiting fellow at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics, is reading Christopher Fowler's Paperboy (Doubleday, 2009). "Before anyone gets too nostalgic about the glory days of the Coronation, New Elizabethans and all that, they should read Fowler's autobiographical account of the 1950s. …

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