tue 23/05/2017

book reviews of books about culture

theartsdesk Q&A: Günter Grass

Kate Connolly

The Nobel prize-winning writer, playwright and artist Günter Grass was arguably the best-known German-language author of the second half of the 20th century. Kate Connolly met him in May 2010 in...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Novelist Hilary Mantel

jasper Rees

Hilary Mantel is a maker of literary history. Wolf Hall, an action-packed 650-page brick of a book about the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell, won the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Its...

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theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Mark Hudson

Remember when festivals were only about what they were ostensibly about? When, say, Reading offered nothing beyond hard rock bar disgusting toilets, overpriced hamburgers and the prospect of a...

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Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Biographer Claire Tomalin on Charles Dickens

jasper Rees

The tally of Charles Dickens’s biographers grows ever closer to 100. The English language’s most celebrated novelist repays repeated study, of course, because both his life and his work are so...

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'Books have been my life': Doris Lessing

jasper Rees

Doris Lessing’s storm-tossed life would make a stirring biopic. She spent her early years on an isolated farm in the Southern Rhodesian veldt, abandoned the children of her first marriage to take...

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10 Questions for Count Arthur Strong

jasper Rees

Autumn is a season of tumbling leaves, dark afternoons and of course fatuous memoirs from people off the telly. But every so often the world is taken by surprise, less by autumn itself than by the...

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Extract: George Harrison - Behind the Locked Door

Graeme Thomson

Following the completion of the White Album, and the conclusion of recording sessions in Los Angeles with new Apple signing Jackie Lomax, in late November 1968 George Harrison and his...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Sex researcher Shere Hite

jasper Rees

This week Channel 4 embarks on a season of programmes about sex. Real sex, it claims, in real British bedrooms. A new series called Masters of Sex dramatises the story of William Masters...

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10 Questions for film director Roger Donaldson – 'motor...

An Australian who emigrated to New Zealand in 1965, Roger Donaldson cut his teeth in documentaries and TV before launching into a career in...

DVD/Blu-ray: Madame de…

Initially, 1953’s Madame de… feels as though it could wear out its welcome. What, at first, seems a wearisome exposition on how...

Hipermestra / La Traviata, Glyndebourne

 A Saudi princess in her white wedding dress digs her own grave as men pile up stones to hurl at her head — next, an Isis fighter is stabbing...

An Evening with Picador Poetry, Brighton Festival review - g...

Old, young, or somewhere in the middle - people of all ages fill the seats around me and noisily wait for the evening to begin. The Picador Poetry...

Meow Meow's Souvenir, Brighton Festival review – subver...

Dream palace, cesspit and church; celebrated, mopped (by Marlene Dietrich, no less) and fucked:...

CD: Linkin Park - One More Light

On its release, Linkin Park's recent single, "Heavy", with its lightweight, warbling vocals, caused serious distress...

Colm Tóibín: House of Names review - bleakly beautiful twili...

The news that Colm Tóibín has written a novel about Orestes...

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Shel Talmy

As the producer of the early Kinks and Who, Shel Talmy’s status as one of British pop’s most important figures is assured. He is, though, American...

CD: The Charlatans - Different Days

Notwithstanding the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays’ underwhelming reunions, it comes as something of a shock to realise that the Charlatans are the...

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