Nicole Flattery

Nicole Flattery’s next novel, Nothing Special, will be published this year.

Outsourced Emotions: Katie Kitamura

Nicole Flattery, 6 January 2022

Katie Kitamura’s​ third novel, A Separation, is the only book I’ve read in which the London Review of Books provides a plot point – insofar as the novel can be said to have a plot. The narrator, a literary translator, reeling from the murder of her husband, combs through his belongings to try to stitch together a narrative that will make sense of what happened to him....

Is this what life is like? ‘My Phantoms’

Nicole Flattery, 9 September 2021

To find​ Gwendoline Riley in her novels wouldn’t be hard, but it would be unrewarding. ‘People have the right to disappear if they want to,’ says Carmel, the narrator of her first. Cold Water, set in a Manchester dive bar, appeared in 2002 when Riley was 23. Since then she has published five more novels and a novella, but there have been no worthy, state-of-the-nation...

Ifirst encountered​ Tove Ditlevsen on a visit to Copenhagen. The whole trip had been a mistake. I kept thinking I should go and see the Little Mermaid. Seeing the statue, even from a distance, would somehow validate the journey. Apart from this depthless panic about how and when I would go and see the Little Mermaid, I was doing very little: wandering around galleries, sitting in the hotel...

Strut like Mutya: Paul Mendez

Nicole Flattery, 22 October 2020

Four young black women, dressed provocatively, dance and lip-synch under neon light. It could be a music video except the girls are in a cheap hotel room, wearing shoplifted dresses with the security tags intact. It’s a night of escape, a break from everyday life; at last the girls aren’t under the scrutiny of their parents or their crushes. They strike dramatic poses, clutch...

How many times? Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery, 16 July 2020

Catherine Lacey’s​ last book, Certain American States (2018), a short story collection, began with an epigraph from Annie Baker’s play Circle Mirror Transformation:

LAUREN: Hey. Um. This is kind of weird – but do you ever wonder how many times your life is gonna end?

(Another silence.)

SCHULTZ: Uh … I’m not sure I know what you –

LAUREN: Like how many people...

In​ ‘Abortion, a Love Story’, the long story at the centre of Nicole Flattery’s first collection, a young woman, Natasha, tells the professor on whom she’s about to...

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