Fiction and Non-Fiction

Loneliness might well be the greatest disease of human kind. Brian Moore’s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is a deeply moving book about a middle-aged woman in post-war Belfast. Living in rented rooms, dealing with the fact that there is hardly anybody concerned about her, trying to find solace in religion and struggling with alcoholism, she is a tragic figure.

James Jones’ The Merry Month of May ostensibly deals with the Left Bank movement in Paris but actually seems more concerned about the sexual fantasies and fetishes of the Gallagher family, American expatriates living in Paris. The connection between the two threads (the revolt and the sexual part) is never made clear and the role of the Afro-American girl Samantha who wrecks havoc in the family is also unclear.

This year, I read a number of Non-Fictional books, most of them history texts, but I also read one dealing with the intricacies of the English language. Written in a humorous style, Maxwell Nurnberg’s Questions You Always Wanted to ask about English, discusses some of the problematic areas of English and explains them not with hi-fi grammatical rules but in a simple manner. at times even asking the reader to ‘go by his ear’. It was fun to do the exercises too.


First Line: The first thing Miss Judith Herne unpacked in her new lodgings was the silver-framed photograph of her aunt.

Title: The Lonely Passion of Miss Judith Hearne

Original Title: Judith Hearne

Author: Brian Moore

Publication Details: London: Paladin, 1988.

First Published: 1955.

Pages: 255

Other books read of the same author: None

Source: H.M. Library [F.M.O 59]


First Line: Well, it’s all over.
Title: The Merry Month of May
Author: James Jones
Publication Details: London: Fontana, 1973
First Published: 1971
Pages: 352
Source: OTS


First Line: Do you find yourself wondering whether to use imply or infer, look uneasy as you blurt out for my brother and I, or fear the silence that may follow when you say, “I am a student here for now two years”?

Title: Questions You Always wanted to ask about English
Author: Maxwell Nurnberg
Publication Details: Delhi: Goyl Saab, 1998
Pages: 258
Source: OTS

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