Hot book recommendation: 26A, by Diana Evans. I saw her speak on Sunday, but she was on the same panel as Susanna Clarke and so went almost unnoticed in the wake of my squealing fangirliness. I bought her book because I felt bad at the signing, when there was a huge queue in front of SC and no one in front of DE; started reading it, initially decided that it was yet another tedious White Teeth rip-off (initial dismissiveness may have been partly related to my customary envy of anyone who is Young and Published), but by the end I was hooked, despite its typical first-novel-esque flaws (also annoying typos: 'teaming' for 'teeming', for example). Of course, it is being marketed as a shameless rip-off of White Teeth, which is sad because in my opinion it's far better. Also throws into relief how depressingly trend-following the publishing industry is - and it knows it, too, which makes it all the more frustrating.
libellum told me off at the weekend for not updating enough, but I'm just not feeling inspired at the moment. I have a new job that I really like. Things are in motion for Sudan next year. An agent is interested in my novel. There is relationship angst (and no, I probably don't want to talk about it). I've received no reply to my PhD query letter, which I sent a week ago. Things are more good than bad, but for some reason whenever I sit down to write about it here, I end up feeling that the entry would be better placed in my personal journal, and so that's where it goes. Perhaps I just want to keep things to myself more. But I will try to be here more often.