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

Susan Bassnett, professor of comparative literature, University of Warwick, is reading Michela Murgia's Accabadora (MacLehose Press, 2011). "This extraordinary book, beautiful in the original Italian, is here brought to English readers by Silvester Mazzarella's translation. Set in a remote Sardinian village in the 1950s, it concerns a girl learning unexpected lessons about death, life, motherhood and tradition from her adoptive mother, the accabadora, or midwife to the dying. One of the best books I've read in ages."

Clare Debenham, tutor in the politics department, University of Manchester, is reading Amanda Foreman's Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (HarperCollins, 1999). "This award-winning book captures more fully than the subsequent film that was based on it the subtlety of this fashionable, wealthy, politicised aristocrat. Georgiana had an affair with Charles Grey, the Whigs' leader, which resulted in the birth of a daughter whom she was forced by her husband to give up. The affair was an open secret, but, unlike today, it did not affect Grey's career: he became prime minister."

Richard Howells, reader in culture, media and creative industries, King's College London, is reading Arthur I. Miller's Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art (W. W. Norton, 2014). "Miller's latest follows on from his Pulitzer Prize-nominated Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time and the Beauty that Causes Havoc. …

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