█ DOG- EARED My reading list this week is a flowering tree. I have an acclaimed new biography of a massively influential public figure; an unusual translation of a classic novel from North Korea, and the summer’s most widely anticipated Indian novel in English. But before continuing the work of bringing these stories to touch the lives of readers, it seems important to address the elephant in the room. Dear reader, this is a column I have been ready to write for the last two months, though I have turned away from the subject in firm resolution every time I think of it. It is to acknowledge the problem that almost every human being in lockdown is currently facing: we are unable to read, or take pleasure in reading. I am aware that this seems hugely irresponsible for a books column to acknowledge. Netflix, or harder to turn a page. If you find yourself at this impasse, then this is an open letter to acknowledge your problem, and to underscore how widespread it is. Quarantine brain is a material phenomenon. It occurs when the distinctions between home and work, leisure and labour, and even day and night have eroded. You… Read full this story
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