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The ‘Spectator’ reviews The House of Fiction

an intriguing story of an Australian literary icon’s bizarre hoax, and her stepdaughter’s attempt to comprehend it.

There aren’t many places you can get shouty about Proust without losing your job. The Lane Bookshop in Perth, Western Australia, is one of them. As an undergraduate, I’d pitch up there for work on Saturday mornings with as much song in the heart as a hangover allowed. Because for me the Lane wasn’t just a shop, it was a salon. The young staff, all writers, were encouraged (and fed, when cash was scarce) by the kind owners. Debates sparked between the shelves. And great Australian novelists came in to buy the books.

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