sun 05/02/2023

book reviews and features

'I let it emerge': an interview with Fiona Benson on the cusp of the TS Eliot Prize announcement

Jack Barron

Fiona Benson’s new collection of poems, Ephemeron (Jonathan Cape, 2022), tries to capture those things that are always moving out of grasp. It does this through four sections: the first...

Read more...

Jaan Kross: A Book of Falsehoods review - plague, power and deception in 16th century Tallinn

David Nice

When the first volume of Estonian master Jaan Kross’s peerless historical trilogy first appeared in an English...

Read more...

Best of 2022: Books

theartsdesk

From Kafka’s spry sketches to Derek Owusu’s novel-poem, and Jaan Kross’s Estonian Wolf Hall to Katherine Rundell’s spirited biography of John Donne, our reviewers take the time to share...

Read more...

10 Questions for writer and translator Saskia Vogel

Hannah Hutching

Johanne Lykke Holm’s spellbinding novel Strega recounts one teen’s journey into womanhood....

Read more...

Bob Dylan: The Philosophy of Modern Song review - a book that contains multitudes

mark Kidel

Some years after Chronicles (2004) a book that broke moulds and delighted with its originality, and as with albums...

Read more...

Kelefa Sanneh: Major Labels review - diary of an omnivorous musicophile

India Lewis

Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres is American critic Kelefa Sanneh’s ambitious survey of musical history. As such, it risks remaining only a...

Read more...

10 Questions for Bruce Lindsay, biographer of Ivor Cutler

Sebastian Scotney

Ivor Cutler: A Life Outside the Sitting Room by Bruce Lindsay, is the first full-length...

Read more...

Patrick Duff: The Singer review - agony and ecstasy of a rock'n'roll life

mark Kidel

As our favourite rock stars become elders, there has been a steady flow of autobiographies, some ghosted, some...

Read more...

Patti Smith: A Book of Days review - adding to Insta's debris

Hugh Barnes

On April Fool’s Day, in 1978, the godmother of American punk, Patti Smith, jumped offstage at the Rainbow Theatre in...

Read more...

Derek Owusu: Losing the Plot review - the finest perfume

Harriet Mercer

Derek Owusu’s debut That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliot Prize in 2020. When asked what it was that she loved most about Owusu’s semi-autobiographical 117-page book, Preti Taneja, chair...

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Smoke, Southwark Playhouse review - dazzling Strindberg upda...

A play’s title can be an almost arbitrary matter - there’s no streetcar but plenty of desire in that one for example - and it might...

Music Reissues Weekly: The Senders - All Killer No Filler

The New York Dolls, The Ramones, Suicide, Television, Blondie, The Dictators, The Heartbreakers, The Shirts, Richard Hell and the Voidoids. From...

Fauda, Season 4, Netflix review - Israeli terrorism thriller...

Bald, barrel-shaped and pugnacious, Doron Kavillio (Lior Raz) could have been conceived as the anti-Bond or the un-Ethan Hunt. But as action...

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish review - thrilling adventure wi...

The Shrek universe expands a little more with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, another...

Album: Shania Twain - Queen of Me

Shania Twain describes her sixth studio album as “a song of gratitude and appreciation. I was inspired that I still had air in my lungs” – and it...

Titus Andronicus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - notorious...

If All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida have earned the sobriquet "‘problem plays...

The Whale review - Brendan Fraser stars in a fat suit

Yes, Brendan Fraser gives a fine, Oscar-nominated performance as a...

Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - total brilliance in Bartók...

Salome was not to get her head on a silver platter: Jennifer Davis, due to sing the bloody final scene of Strauss’s opera, had been experiencing...

2:22 A Ghost Story, Lyric Theatre review - Cheryl makes an i...

The set of 2:22 A Ghost Story is open to the auditorium when we arrive and locates us at once in gentrification-land. We are...

EO review - lyrical tale of a donkey's odyssey

It’s been a good year for donkeys at the cinema. Not only did Martin McDonagh make a surprise star out of Jenny the miniature donkey in The...

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters