sat 19/09/2020

book reviews and features

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: The Mountains Sing review - a lyrical account of Việt Nam’s brutal past

Lucy Popescu

“The challenges of the Vietnamese people throughout history are as tall as the tallest mountains. If you stand too close, you won’t be able to see their peaks. Once you step away from the currents...

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CD: Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith - Peradam

Tim Cumming

"The gateway to the invisible must be visible." So intones Patti Smith on the third and final journey in sound with Stephan Crasneanscki and Simone Merli, AKA Soundwalk Collective, musical...

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Elena Ferrante: The Lying Life of Adults review - a universal Neapolitan adolescence

David Nice

The protagonist is a Neapolitan teenage girl; the settings move between the upper and lower parts, from the Vomero...

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Helen Macdonald: Vesper Flights review - nature lovingly described, nearly lost

India Lewis

Vesper Flights, Helen Macdonald’s first book following her incredibly successful memoir H is for Hawk in 2014, is an excellent collection of short pieces focused on the...

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Zalika Reid-Benta: Frying Plantain review - tales of growing up young, black and female in Toronto

Daniel Lewis

It is as unsurprising as it is vital that a spotlight has been thrown on writing by people of colour this year. It is unsurprising, too – looking at bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic...

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Nick Hayes: The Book of Trespass review – a leap over England's walls

Boyd Tonkin

Since snobbery and deference have a big part to play in Nick Hayes’s exhilarating book, let’s start with the obligatory name-drop. I have lunched – twice, in different country piles, and most...

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Matt Haig: The Midnight Library review - an uplifting modern parable

Sarah Collins

TW: This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, antidepressants and self-harm 

We first meet Nora Seed, “nineteen years before she decides to die”, as she plays chess in the...

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Sharon Dolin: Hitchcock Blonde: A Cinematic Memoir review - a poet’s life filtered through Hitchcock’s lens

Daniel Lewis

Poet Sharon Dolin’s memoir Hitchcock Blonde ends (no spoilers) in the same way as...

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Alex Halberstadt: Young Heroes of the Soviet Union review - a familial history of the twentieth century

India Lewis

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a collective examination of its past, with Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich at the helm. Young Heroes of the Soviet Union...

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Hiromi Kawakami: People From My Neighbourhood review - deft and feather-light

Gaby Frost

Deft and funny prose, in a feather-light translation by Ted Goossen, is the signature of Hiromi Kawakami's latest collection People From My...

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Pages

latest in today

Picnic at the Castle review - entertaining mixed bill

Of all the outdoor spaces being utilised to keep live performance going in this maddest of years, Warwick Castle is surely among the most striking...

Nocturnal review - an impossible love

The most painterly and ominous sequence in Nocturnal naturally occurs at night. Until recently strangers, 33-year-old Pete (Cosmo Jarvis...

Album: Alicia Keys - Alicia

Alicia Keys is a puzzling mixture. On the one hand she’s the hyper-achieving, multi-platinum, 752-Grammy-winning...

Rocks review - impressively well-crafted neo-realist drama

Rocks is a beautifully made slice of neo-realist filmmaking which deserves to get a wide audience but may well slip off the radar in the...

GogolFest:Dream review - the best music festival of the summ...

GogolFest:Dream in Kherson, somewhere near the Crimea in...

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall/Hill Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Fes...

An early hero of lockdown, livestreaming from his Berlin home in terrible sound at first, Igor Levit is a supreme example of how adaptable...

The Devil All The Time review – a test of faith in a Souther...

Theres no denying the Faulknerian ambition to the construction of Anthony Camposlatest feature Devil All the Time...

Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of...

Album: Fish - Weltschmerz

"This party's over" snarls Fish on Weltschmerz, and, this time, it seems the big man really means...

Alban Gerhardt, Markus Becker, Wigmore Hall review - long sh...

It wouldn’t be true to say I’d forgotten what a solo cello in a...

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