mon 04/03/2024

book reviews and features

Selva Almada: Brickmakers review – men dying for love

Boyd Tonkin

To make bricks you torment the soft, moist and fluid material of clay and sand in a prison of fire until it becomes dry, hard and unyielding. In Selva Almada’s rural...

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Mary Wellesley: Hidden Hands review - passion in the parchment

Boyd Tonkin

Outside Wales – even, perhaps, within it – few students will have run across the verse of Gwerful Mechain. The free-...

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Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Anna Parker

Marcin Wicha’s mother Joanna never talked about her death. A Jewish counsellor based in an office built on top of the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto, her days were consumed by work and her passion...

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Jonathan Franzen: Crossroads review - can goodness ever be its own reward?

Markie Robson-Scott

It’s Christmas 1971 in New Prospect, a suburb of Chicago, and pastor Russ Hildebrandt has plans for...

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Sarah Hall: Burntcoat review - love after the end of the world

India Lewis

Sarah Hall’s Burntcoat is one of those new books with the unsettling quality of describing or...

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First Person: Andrea Levy's husband recalls her path toward becoming a novelist

Bill Mayblin

The opening sentence of Andrea’s 2010 historical novel The Long Song ...

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Wole Soyinka: Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth review – sprawling satire of modern-day Nigeria

Daniel Baksi

Eight-years passed between the publication of Wole Soyinka’s debut novel, The Interpreters (1965), and his second, Season of Anomy (1973). A lot happened in...

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Extract: The Breaks by Julietta Singh

theartsdesk

How do we mother at the end of the world? Among the ruins of late capitalism, climate catastrophe, and entrenched white state violence?

Julietta Singh “admit[s]...

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Ananyo Bhattacharya: The Man from the Future review - the man, the maths, the brain

Jon Turney

Suppose I’m a novelist plotting a panoramic narrative through world-shaping moments of the first half of the 20th century. I’ll need a character who can visit a bunch of key sites. Göttingen in...

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Ruby Tandoh: Cook As You Are review - truly a trailblazer

CP Hunter

Ever since her appearance on The Great British Bake Off in 2013, Ruby Tandoh has been a breath of fresh air to the food...

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