tue 20/08/2019

book reviews and features

Banine: Days in the Caucasus review - revolutions, pogroms and love

Katherine Waters

By fifteen Ummulbanu Asadullayeva — or Banine, to call her by the name under which she wrote and translated — had already lived more than most of us will in a lifetime. She’d experienced great...

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Frans de Waal: Mama's Last Hug review - animal feelings

Marina Vaizey

Primatologist, ethologist, zoologist, biologist, social psychologist, behaviourist – how may ‘ists’ can one person have? Dutch-American...

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My Enemy's Cherry Tree: Wang Ting-Kuo review - a masterpiece from Taiwan

Katherine Waters

Early every evening, Miss Baixiu comes to sit in an isolated café. She is the daughter of Luo Yiming, the respected employee of a successful commercial bank in charge of loans throughout central...

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Ali Smith: Spring review – green shoots, dark fears

Boyd Tonkin

Stopped in the street for a vox pop by a BBC interviewer keen to “fill your air” with strife and bile, a character in Spring retorts that “there’s a world out there bigger than Brexit,...

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Karl Ove Knausgaard: So Much Longing in So Little Space review – smiles more than screams

Boyd Tonkin

Around the works canteen, a dozen huge wall-paintings depict, in bright cheerful colours spread across radically stylised forms, happy scenes of women and men at work and play beside a sunlit sea...

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David Hepworth: A Fabulous Creation review - how vinyl soothed our souls and defined our being

Liz Thomson

Record Store Day is now a fixture on the calendar, a key element in “the vinyl revival”, and this year – 13 April –...

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Fiona MacCarthy: Walter Gropius review - a master of modernism

Marina Vaizey

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus (literally, “Building House”) art school is on us, prompting publications and exhibitions worldwide. Subtitled “Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus”,...

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Robert Menasse: The Capital review - much more than just an EU satire

David Nice

Forty years ago this July, Simone Veil gave her inaugural speech as first President of the European Parliament. She had many issues to include. Peace came first; as a survivor of Auschwitz and the...

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Sadie Jones: The Snakes review - lacking feeling

Katherine Waters

Bea and Dan are a young married couple. They have a mortgage on their small flat in Holloway and met while out clubbing in Peckham. She’s a plain-looking, modest and hard-working psychotherapist;...

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George Szirtes: The Photographer at Sixteen review – how grief becomes art

Boyd Tonkin

How long does it take for grief to crystallise into art? No timetable can ever set that date. The poet George Szirtes’s mother took her own life, after previous attempts, during the hot summer of...

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