tue 21/05/2024

book reviews and features

Jonathan Kennedy: Pathogenesis - How Germs Made History review - a return to the infections that formed us

Jon Turney

The Cayapo tribe, a shade under 10,000 strong, lived in South America unacquainted with humans in the wider world until 1903. That year, they accepted a missionary who, along with news of...

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Loving Highsmith review - documentary focused on the writer's lighter side

Helen Hawkins

Since her death in 1995, Patricia Highsmith has prompted three biographies, screeds of often conflicting psychological analysis and now this...

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Diana Evans: A House for Alice review - lyrical sequel to Ordinary People

Markie Robson-Scott

Diana Evans specialises in houses, their baleful quirks and the meaning of home. In her acclaimed third novel, Ordinary People (2018), formerly happy, black couple Melissa and Michael...

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Colin Herd and Maria Sledmere: Cocoa and Nothing review - arts of sinking

Alice Brewer

In his mock-poetic manual Peri-Bathos (1728), Alexander Pope opens by describing the afflictions which beset inhabitants of the lower Parnassus. The aristocracy living further up the...

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Seraphina Madsen: Aurora review - the tarot won’t save us

Hannah Hutching

“There is another world… a way of perceiving that is chaotic and awesome and terrifying,” announces Seraphina Madsen’s cigarillo-smoking, telepathic cat.

Lecturing a teenage coven on the art...

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Margaret Atwood: Old Babes in the Wood review - bookending the short story

India Lewis

Margaret Atwood has been writing for sixty years now, and, with her latest publication, she has given us a book...

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Janet Malcolm: Still Pictures - On Photography and Memory review - a rare glimpse at a guarded personal history

Hugh Barnes

For almost half a century, from the mid-1960s until her death in 2021, Janet Malcolm was a staff writer on the New Yorker where her meticulous reporting and provocatively strong opinions...

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Nicole Flattery: Nothing Special review - returning to the Factory

India Lewis

It seems that Andy Warhol’s Factory – silver-dusted and populated with tragic, drug-addicted minor...

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Will Harris: Brother Poem review - writing the poems that could have been

Jack Barron

You shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover, but you can get pretty far with an epigraph. The epigraph to Will Harris’s new collection, Brother Poem (following his T. S. Eliot Prize-...

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Disbelief - 100 Russian Anti-War Poems (ed. Julia Nemirovskaya) review - writing battle-lines

Hugh Barnes

On 24th February 2022, when Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation”, life in Ukraine changed abruptly and in a brutal fashion. Soon the impact of the war was felt around the world...

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