sun 29/03/2020

book reviews and features

Sunday Book: Ruth Franklin - Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

Markie Robson-Scott

When asked about her most famous short story, "The Lottery", Shirley Jackson said, “I hate it. I’ve lived with that thing 15 years. Nobody will ever let me forget it.” Sixty-eight years later, it’...

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Shirley Jackson: A Rising Star at 100

Laurence Jackso

My mother has been rediscovered, if she ever went away. She is suddenly a rising star, 51 years after her early death. Interest in Shirley Jackson’s novels and stories has blossomed significantly...

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Sunday Book: Günter Grass - Of All That Ends

Boyd Tonkin

In this, his final book, the late German author and Nobel literature laureate tells us that he used to disgust his children with offal-heavy dishes rooted in the peasant fare of his forebears. As...

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Carols From King's: How a tradition was made

alexandra Coghlan

For the first decade of its life, King’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols remained a local phenomenon, a “gift to the City of Cambridge”. But that all changed in 1928 with the first BBC...

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Sunday Book: Lynne Truss - The Lunar Cats

Matthew Wright

Once they’ve died nine times, Lynne Truss’s evil talking cats become immortal. Whether Truss has such ambitions for the literary lifespan of her curiously addictive feline thrillers,...

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Sunday Book: The New Yorker Book of the 60s

Liz Thomson

As the United States – and the world – agonises over the coming of Donald Trump, it seems to many of us that all hope is almost irretrievably lost. How timely, then, is the publication of a...

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Sunday Book: Zadie Smith - Swing Time

Boyd Tonkin

In his lovely memoir My Father’s Fortune, Michael Frayn dubs the Holloway and Caledonian Roads the “Tigris and Euphrates” of his family history. In that case, just a few pages west...

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Sunday Book: Elena Ferrante - Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey

Arifa Akbar

The 2003 first, Italian edition of La Frantumaglia begins with words from Elena Ferrante’s publisher, Edizioni E/O, about why the book of collected writings was published: “To satisfy the...

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Sunday Book: Haruki Murakami - Absolutely on Music

Boyd Tonkin

Every fan of his fiction knows that Haruki Murakami loves jazz and lets the music play throughout his books. Yet in this 320-page dialogue between the novelist and his equally eminent compatriot,...

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Sunday Book: Alan Bennett - Keeping On Keeping On

Liz Thomson

To settle down on a darkening evening with a new volume of Alan Bennett is to be in the company of an old friend. Someone you don’t see as often as you’d like but with whom you immediately pick up...

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latest in today

DVD: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol 2

The Children’s Film Foundation began life in 1950, its brief to provide wholesome home-grown entertainment for young Saturday morning cinema...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Recording Is The Trip - The Karen Dalton...

“My favorite in the place was Karen Dalton. She was a tall white blues singer and guitar player, funky, lanky and sultry. Karen had a voice like...

Rock ‘n’ Roll Island: Where Legends Were Born, BBC Four revi...

“Friday night is Amami night” – that was the ad that ran from the 1920s through to the 1950s for a brand of “setting lotion”, a delightfully old-...

Single: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul

A combination of chopped-up newsreel and fever dream, “Murder Most Foul” is...

ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads, Netflix review - a stor...

Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson’s reputation was much enhanced...

Album: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa's self-titled debut was unmistakably the sound of a musician feeling their way. It had all the flavours of trap, tropical house, autotune...

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, BBC iPlayer - an intimate, i...

Miles – where to begin? Some 21st century revisionists find his art fatally tainted by his personal life, and his...

Vivarium review – housing ladder to hell

Imagine being trapped in your perfect home forever. It’s easy if you try now, as Vivarium’s allegory...

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