thu 26/05/2022

book reviews and features

Alyn Shipton: On Jazz - A Personal Journey - digging jazz deeply and musically

Sebastian Scotney

“I suppose you’re going to ask all the usual questions...?” When Keith Jarrett was interviewed by Alyn...

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Joanna Walsh: Girl Online - A User Manual review - how 'beatifoul' it is to be online

Hannah Hutching

Scrolling to the top of my Twitter DMs, most of which are from close friends or acquaintances, I notice the message request section flash “1”. It’s a signal I usually ignore, having learnt from...

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Laura Beatty: Looking for Theophrastus review - adventures in psychobiography

Hugh Barnes

Laura Beatty is a kind of Shirley Valentine figure in contemporary English literature. A decade and a half ago she published an astonishing debut novel entitled Pollard about female...

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Emily St John Mandel: Sea of Tranquility review - time travel, pandemics and the simulation hypothesis

Markie Robson-Scott

Emily St John Mandel’s wonderful novel of 2020, The Glass Hotel, featured people and places from her...

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Scholastique Mukasonga: The Barefoot Woman review - remembering Rwanda before 1994

Hannah Hutching

To read Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman, beautifully translated from the French by...

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Extract: Catching Fire by Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn began his translation of Jamás el fuego nunca, a novel by experimental Chilean artist Diamela Eltit, in January 2021. Considering the careful, difficult but not impossible “...

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Alejandro Zambra: Chilean Poet review - from here to paternity

Boyd Tonkin

Time-honoured advice warns actors never to work with children or animals. Perhaps the literary equivalent should tell novelists not to invent other writers in their books. Especially poets. Unless...

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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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Prehistoric Planet, Apple TV+ review - David Attenborough pr...

With Jurassic World: Dominion due in June, which will mark the end of the “Jurassic” movie franchise, here’s Apple TV’s alternative,...

Album: Def Leppard - Diamond Star Halos

This album starts and ends so brilliantly. It kicks off with a salvo of three tracks that remind you exactly why Def Leppard became one of the...

Das Boot, Series 3, Sky Atlantic review - submarine warfare...

The challenge for the makers of Das Boot is to keep...

Legally Blonde, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review -...

The 2001 Reese Witherspoon-starring film Legally Blonde, upon which Heather Hach, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s peppy Broadway...

Wigmore Soloists, Wigmore Hall review - superb Janáček

Wigmore Soloists is such a good idea, and still at an early stage of its development. The group brings together top players to perform the wider...

theartsdesk at the Dresden Music Festival - orchestral abund...

Dresden is filled with music at this time of year. The Dresden...

Album: Liam Gallagher - C'Mon You Know

While Britpop was a retrogressive media construct, Oasis were a genuine socio-musical phenomenon (albeit also retrogressive!). And at their heart...

Le nozze di Figaro, Glyndebourne review - fabulous singing a...

After two years of Covid-affected performances – even though there was a full season last year – Glyndebourne's annual festival...

DVD/Blu-ray: Parallel Mothers

Parallel Mothers unfolds at a daringly slow pace, and there are moments in the first half of Pedro Almodóvar’s 2021 drama when you wish...

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