thu 07/07/2022

book reviews and features

Stuart Jeffries: Everything, All the Time, Everywhere - How We Became Post-Modern review - entertaining origin-story for the world of today

Daniel Baksi

In his 1985 essay “Not-Knowing”, the American writer Donald Barthelme describes a fictional situation in which an unknown “someone” is writing a story.

“From the world of conventional signs...

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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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latest in today

2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards: baubles, bromides and birthd...

The winners of this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards were...

Album: Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Toast

Neil Young put Toast to one side in 2001, dismayed at its blue emotional terrain. Depicting his marriage to Pegi Young hanging by a...

Love Supreme Festival, Sunday review - eclectic jazz on the...

By day three of any festival things are usually winding down. But there was a sense that...

Album: Vyvyan - Y

After four years, three releases and a slew of remixes, the identity of spotlight-shunning producer Vyvyan ended up the subject of intense...

theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival 2022 - on Cloud Nine f...

Last year’s relatively slimline East Neuk Festival felt like a feast in time of plague. This July everything was back to full strength in numerous...

Jessie Burton: The House of Fortune review - a muted, sensit...

A sequel is always a hard thing to write, especially if the book that precedes it is a bestseller, adapted for television and read by more than a...

Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World

The third album from Stockholm rowdies Viagra Boys doesn’t muck about with what they do, but it’s more persistently punkin’ than their last. There...

Mick Jagger: My Life as a Rolling Stone review, BBC Two - th...

At the beginning of this film, Mick Jagger says: “What most...

Alcina, Glyndebourne review - Handel on the strand

Reviewing the Grange Festival production of Tamerlano the other day, I noted the difficulty...

Favour, Bush Theatre review - Ambreen Razia's punchy ne...

Where should Leila live — Ilford or Kent? It doesn’t sound like an earth-shattering decision for a 15-year-old to make, but the stakes...

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