thu 23/05/2024

book reviews and features

Extract: Where My Feet Fall - Going For A Walk in Twenty Stories

Duncan Minshull

I began work on Where My Feet Fall a few months into the pandemic of 2020. After lockdown was announced we all became better walkers, and the collection took on greater resonance.

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Marianne Eloise: Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking review - bargaining with the devil

Annabel Bai Jackson

No mental health condition has become quite as kitsch as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Its tacky shorthands – the hand washing,...

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María Gainza: Portrait of an Unknown Lady review – queens of the unreal

Boyd Tonkin

It’s no surprise that the theme of fakes and forgery appeals so much to writers, who traffic in plausible illusions and often believe (in María Gainza’s words) that truth is “just another well-...

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Salley Vickers: The Gardener review - nature has other ideas

Lizzie Hibbert

A garden is a space defined by its limits. Whatever its contents in terms of style and species, and however manicured or apparently wild its appearance, what distinguishes a garden from its...

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Extract: My Pen is the Wing of a Bird, New Fiction by Afghan Women

theartsdesk

"My pen is the wing of a bird; it will tell you those thoughts we are not allowed to think, those dreams we are not allowed to dream." Batool Haidari’s words give this bold collection of stories...

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Thomas Halliday: Otherlands review - diving into the deep past

Jon Turney

Life on Earth: David Attenborough has it covered, right? Well, globally, maybe, but not historically. He has presented world-spanning series on pretty much every kind of life except bacteria, but...

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Tessa Hadley: Free Love review - the Sixties, the suburbs and the hippie dream

Markie Robson-Scott

Free Love opens in 1967 and remains within that heady era throughout; no flashbacks, no spanning of generations as in Hadley's wonderful novels The Past or Late in the Day...

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Best of 2021: Books

theartsdesk

“Duck! Here comes another year.” We can, I think, all empathise with the motions and emotions of Ogden Nash’s new year poem, “Good Riddance, But Now What?” Before, however, we bid a troublesome...

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The Holiness of Sex: Leonard Cohen's Biblical Theology

Harry Freedman

On hearing that I had recently written a book about Leonard Cohen, someone asked me why I thought Bob Dylan...

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Peter Robison: Flying Blind review – a story of decline and crawl

John Carvill

Thomas Pynchon’s saturnine '70s novel Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) begins with “[a] screaming [that] comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.”...

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