fri 10/07/2020

book reviews and features

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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Harriet Walter on Brutus and Other Heroines

Harriet Walter

A part we have played is like a person we once met, grew to know, became intimately enmeshed with and finally moved away from. Some of these characters remain friends, others are like ex-lovers...

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Sunday Book: I Am Brian Wilson

Adam Sweeting

For decades Brian Wilson was depicted as the mad, lost genius of the Beach Boys, but these days, at 74, he's looking more like one of pop's great survivors. After all, he has comprehensively...

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Sunday Book: Carlo Rovelli - Reality Is Not What It Seems

Peter Forbes

Scientists today tend to patronise the early Greek philosophers who, 2500 years ago, inaugurated enquiry into the nature of things. The Atomic Theory? A lucky guess, they allege. But Carlo Rovelli...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Garrison Keillor

Jasper Rees

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, and has been for the past 42 years, ever since Garrison Keillor first reported on the town's goings-on in his weekly radio show A Prairie Home Companion...

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Who was St Clair Bayfield?

Jasper Rees

This week Stephen Frears's film about Florence Foster Jenkins opens. It will bring to the widest attention yet the story of a New York socialite who couldn’t sing and yet did sing, infamously, to...

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