Dark drama, light humour
of a Literary Legacy (Picador, January). Alice Oswald’s new poetry collection, Nobody (Jonathan Cape, September), sounds like it might be about one of Kafka’s characters, and speculation is all we have with regard to that one.
Even the nobodies of the world have read Helen Dunmore, who died in 2017. Fellow poet Sean O’Brien has praised her “remarkable alertness, imaginative range and generosity of spirit”. In February, Bloodaxe publishes her Collected Poems: Counting Backwards.
Finally Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the poet and co-founder of San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore, is best known for his collection A Coney Island of the Mind. He’s one of the last surviving members of the Beat Generation. In March he will be a centurion. His semi-autobiographical novel Little Boy (Faber, April) purports to be “the story of one man’s extraordinary life”. The novel is “steeped in the rhythmic energy of the Beats, gleaming with Whitman’s visionary spirit and channelling the incantatory power of Proust and Joyce. It is Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s last word.” Fair enough.