In this episode of Radio 4’s THE GOOD READ, I found myself choosing Margaret Atwood’s treatise on debt (Payback: Debt & The Shadow Side of Wealth) for discussion with presenter Harriet Gilbert and author Patrick McGrath. In Payback, Atwood examines money lending throughout the ages and how it has been portrayed in classic literature.
Meanwhile, Harriett’s choice is by Kiley Reid: a smart look at race politics in the USA through the story of a young black nanny and her white employer, white boyfriend and black friends. Such A Fun Age was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2020.
Patrick McGrath’s choice is a novel by Nigel Balchain set during the London Blitz: Darkness Falls From The Air which he loves for its humour and for its stoic main character Bill Sarratt, a civil servant whose attempts to get anything done are thwarted by bureaucracy – something of a ‘Sir Humphrey’ from Yes Minister character bundled together with some character from an Iris Murdoch novel.
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