Currently reading: Home Fire


I’m practising writing short, snappy little blog posts – I’d like to post often, unconstrained by ideas I’ve ingrained in my head of what a post needs to be. Currently reading is one way I’m experimenting with to free myself from the tyranny of should and ought…

I’m currently reading Kamila Shamsie’s Man Booker longlisted Home Fire. It’s a modern retelling of Antigone, a Greek tragedy by Sophocles, which I love. I love most Greek tragedies, that I’ve read/seen. I love they way they start at this intense pitch and stay there for the next 90 minutes or 200-odd pages. Incidentally, I saw Christopher Eccleston (favourite Doctor) as Creon and Jodie Whittaker (potential new favourite Doctor) as Antigone at the National Theatre a few years ago – bloody aces production, lots of movement, had me on the edge of my seat throughout.

It’s a year of good re-tellings so far. Natalie Haynes’ Children of Jocasta was great and Colm Toibin’s House of Names was also excellent. I’m a big fan of Shamsie’s earlier novel Burnt Shadows, a sweeping multi-place, multi-generational story, so I have high hopes for Home Fire. It’s about a young Muslim woman trying to keep her family together and fulfil the potential of her own life amidst the difficulties of her specific circumstances and the prevalent culture of anti-Muslim attitudes. Well that’s what I’m getting so far, from the first 50 pages.

You can find more on social media at #HomeFire

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