wed 22/05/2024

book reviews and features

Matthew Shindell: For the Love of Mars: A Human History of the Red Planet review - a world of possibility

Jon Turney

Humans are unsettled by incomplete data, unanswered questions. Show us dots on paper, and we’ll join them to make a picture. Show us objects in the night sky, and we create worlds.

So it has...

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Susan Finlay: The Lives of the Artists review - the knotted threads of memoir and art

Alice Brewer

Benvenuto Cellini’s My Life (1728) is not the artist-biography to which Susan Finlay’s The Lives of the Artists pays its most obvious homage, but it appears to have followed its...

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Glory to Sound: Linton Kwesi Johnson, Brighton Festival 2023 review - a reggae rebel's life in music

Nick Hasted

Straight-backed at 70, Linton Kwesi Johnson wears the smart garb of a British Caribbean elder – trilby, cream jacket, West Indies maroon jumper and tie, grey trousers, blue socks and grey shoes....

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Keggie Carew: Beastly review - the history of animals and us

mark Kidel

There’s been an avalanche of books about animals and trees. The more species disappear and forests are felled, the more titles are published: laments, celebrations, extinction alarms and rhapsodic...

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Noreen Masud: A Flat Place - reflective landscapes

Issy Brooks-Ward

On the front cover of Noreen Masud’s startling memoir, A Flat Place, a green square of sky is scored...

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A. Anatoli: Babi Yar - The Story of Ukraine's Holocaust review - a masterpiece uncensored

Hugh Barnes

The great Russian novelists of the 19th century wrote what Henry James called "large, loose, baggy monsters" out of belief that "truth" was...

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Max Porter: Shy review - an ode to boyhood and rage

Izzy Smith

Max Porter continues his fascination with the struggles of youth in his newest release, Shy: his most beautifully-wrought...

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Solmaz Sharif: Customs review - a poetics of exile and return

Jack Barron

The language of poetic technique is perhaps weighted towards rupture, rather than reparation: lines end and break, we count beats and stress, experience caesurae (literally ‘cuttings’), and mark...

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First Person: Sophie Haydock on going beyond the grave

Sophie Haydock

It was a cold day in Vienna when Egon Schiele was buried in the Ober-Sankt-Veit cemetery. He was just 28 years old.

The controversial...

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Lydia Sandgren: Collected Works review - the mysteries that surround us all

India Lewis

Lydia Sandgren’s debut novel, Collected Works, a bestseller in her native Sweden, has now been translated by Agnes Broomé into English, in all its 733-page glory. An epic family saga, it...

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