Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Five novels that go beyond London’s WWII “Blitz Spirit”

Jo Baker was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford University and Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of the best-selling novel Longbourn, as well as The Body Lies; A Country Road, A Tree; The Undertow; The Telling; The Mermaid’s Child; and Offcomer.

Baker's new novel is The Midnight News.

At Lit Hub she tagged five top novels that "depict the [London] Blitz, and that whole era, without seeking to simplify or mythologize." One title on the list:
Human Voices, Penelope Fitzgerald

Set at the BBC at the height of the Blitz, this is a brilliant comic novel, that’s also threaded through with darkness, danger and nostalgia. There’s an everyday heroism to its characters’ determination to broadcast the truth, however unwelcome or inconvenient, and to manage as best they can the mayhem that surrounds them. There’s also, for those with an eye for it, some lovely period detail, from the challenges of putting a decent outfit together for a night out, to the local corner café’s substitution of cold baked potatoes for bread rolls. Very filling, it’s observed.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue