Private: A handful of literary links

A new collection by A.L. Kennedy continues to explore salvation and other themes she considered in Original Bliss, D.T. Max says, in a mixed review.

The Independent shares its readers’ selections of the worst books they’ve ever read. Sample blurb:

Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt

“Sentimental claptrap masquerading as social history. A tale of inadequate parenting – drunken, feckless father, stupid downtrodden mother. No wonder they never had any money. Pulitzer prize? Booby prize.”

EM Dwyer, Swaffham, Norfolk

Birnbaum interviews Jane Smiley about her latest book, Good Faith. (Via Kitabkhana.)

A.O. Scott marvels at the accomplishments of Clive James, the literary critic and journalist who in the last 35 years has also been “a pioneering television critic, a popular television personality, a novelist, a poet and a best-selling memoirist, and from time to time, in tandem with Mr. Atkin, who writes the music, he plays the instruments and sings the songs, an ‘assistant rock star.'”

Andrew Reimer asks if Michel Houellebecq has “found something to look forward to.” (Also via Kitabkhana.)