thu 01/10/2020

book reviews and features

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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Søren Dahlgaard’s Dough Portraits

theartsdesk

Can a portrait really be a portrait if we can’t see a person’s face? And what if the reason we can’t see their face is that it is covered with a lump of dough? Is it a joke? And if it is a joke,...

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Extract: The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre

Aleks Sierz And

Theatre is one of the glories of British culture, a melting pot of creativity and innovation. Beginning with the coronation of Elizabeth I and ending with the televised crowning of the current...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Günter Grass

Kate Connolly

The Nobel prize-winning writer, playwright and artist Günter Grass was arguably the best-known German-language author of the second half of the 20th century. Kate Connolly met him in May 2010 in...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Novelist Hilary Mantel

Jasper Rees

Hilary Mantel is a maker of literary history. Wolf Hall, an action-packed 650-page brick of a book about the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell, won the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Its...

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John Lanchester: Reality, and Other Stories review - campfir...

What do you do when your phone rings, but you know the person ringing isn’t alive? In many ways, the cleverly named Reality, and Other Stories...

Album: Melanie C - Melanie C

There’s a lot to like about Melanie Chisholm. She was always the ...

Bach’s The Art of Fugue, Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall – the m...

How do they do it? Bach and Angela Hewitt, I mean, transfixing and...

Bob Woodward: Rage review - terror and tyranny in the White...

“Build the wall!” exhorted Trump, at rally after rally back in the days when we’d all acknowledged his moral repugnancy but still believed he...

Blu-ray: Beau Travail

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Ottessa Moshfegh: Death in Her Hands review - a case of murd...

Death in Her Hands was a forgotten manuscript, the product of a...

Sudhir Hazareesingh: Black Spartacus review – the life, and...

The former slave, and coachman on a sugar plantation, began one of his early public proclamations in a typically defiant vein: “I am Toussaint...

Ian Williams: Reproduction review - a dazzling kaleidoscope...

Ian Williams’s writing is always in motion. For his 2012 poetry...

Academy of St Martin in the Fields review - from solo medita...

Clearly it takes peculiar circumstances for some of us to hear the Academy of St Martin in the Fields within its eponymous church – that’s a first...

Emma Cline: Daddy review - scintillating short stories by th...

The Girls, Emma Cline’s acclaimed debut novel of 2016, was billed as a story based on the Manson murders. But in fact, like some of the...

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