Books in the Media: Lafarge's debut hailed as 'brilliantly unsettling'

Books in the Media: Lafarge's debut hailed as 'brilliantly unsettling'

Daisy Lafarge's Paul (Granta) came out on top as this week's most reviewed title, picking up mentions in the Guardian, Observer, Evening Standard, i, Irish Times, Scotsman, Independent, Telegraph and The Bookseller

The Guardian's Lamorna Ash called the debut "beautifully observed", whilst the Observer's Holly Williams said that the novel was "highly readable", drawing readers in "as surely as Paul ensnares Frances". Over in the Evening Standard, Terri-Jane Dow called Lafarge’s writing "cleverly structured", adding that the novel's "many layers of imbalance cover language and voice, complicity, age, and life experience".

The Bookseller's Alice O'Keeffe interviewed the author and selected the title as an Editor's Choice in the August preview, calling the debut a "brilliantly unsettling debut about male power and female passivity". The Irish Times' Seán Hewitt also dubbed the title "brilliantly unsettling", adding that it is an "immersive, maddening read". 

Pat Barker's The Women of Troy (Hamish Hamilton) also impressed critics in the week before its publication, picking up reviews in the Guardian, Observer, Financial Times, Times and The Bookseller, where O'Keeffe selected the title as a One to Watch. 

The sequel to Iliad retelling The Silence of the Girls was a Guardian Book of the Day, where Lucy Hughes-Hallett wrote: "Clearly and simply told, with no obscurities of vocabulary or allusion, this novel reads sometimes like a retelling for children of the legend of Troy, but its conclusions are for adults – merciless, stripped of consoling beauty, impressively bleak."

In the Observer, Anthony Cummins called the title a "stirring adventure set amid a misogynist dystopia" whilst the Financial Times' Catherine Taylor said the novel's themes were "conveyed with a dignity and matter-of-factness that is nothing short of heartbreaking".  The book also picked up a mention by the Times' Johanna Thomas-Corr who called it "unexpectedly uplifting". 

In non-fiction, Amia Srinivasan's debut essay collection The Right to Sex (Bloomsbury) was reviewed by the Guardian's Rafia Zakaria, who observed that "Srinivasan accomplishes what she sets out to do: deliver a treatise both ambivalent and discomfiting, one which reveals the inadequacies in what we had imagined to be solutions". The author was also interviewed by the Observer's Rachel Cooke. 

The Telegraph's Jane O'Grady gave the book a two star review whilst the New Statesman's Judith Butler called Srinivasan's arguments "capacious and careful". The collection was also a One to Watch for The Bookseller's Caroline Sanderson and the Irish Times' Naoise Dolan thought that the debut "has its flaws but is too interesting to be perfect".