mon 04/03/2024

book reviews and features

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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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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Gerstein, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - American glitter an...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 82: Human League, Hawkwind, Roberta Fla...

VINYL OF THE MONTH

Mito y Comadre Guajirando (ZZK)

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It was one of those truly memorable evenings – a...

The Creation, Alder, Clayton, Mofidian, LPO, Gardner, RFH re...

Light and grace must flood the concert hall in Haydn’s The Creation, after a striking-for-its time evocation of Chaos, and periwigged...

Dune: Part 2 review - sombre space opera

Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel is a sombre science-fiction spectacle that insists on the scale of cinema: erupting sandworms are Cecil B...

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The LSO’s apéritif hour “Half-Six Fixes” have an informality that usually works and sometimes doesn’t. But the first of this two-night...

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St Matthew Passion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, St Patr...

After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the...

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Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school...

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