The Neglected Books Page » Anthony Burgess. Take this little study,” Anthony Burgess writes in his introduction to The Novel Now, “as a beginner’s handbook, no more.
It is not, despite the limitations of its author’s taste and knowledge, meant to be a daring or idiosyncratic book: it seeks to instruct, not to inflame.” Focusing primarily on novels written since 1940, Burgess covered many of the English-language (and a few of the foreign) novelists then (and still) considered noteworthy, but in the breadth of his survey, he also highlights a number of books then (and still) underestimated or too-quickly forgotten. The Storytellers of Empire. Captivated by an image of an atom bomb falling on Japan, Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie asks American writers why, “Your soldiers will come to our lands, but your novelists won’t.”
Photograph courtesy of Zackary Canepari A disquieting thing happened to me in 2004. I had just finished my fourth novel and, unaccustomed as I was to any space of time in which I didn’t know what I would write next, I found myself searching for the single image which would lead me into a novel. In theory: the death of literature.