sat 13/04/2024

book reviews and features

Caleb Azumah Nelson: Small Worlds review - Ghana and London dance together

India Lewis

Small Worlds, the second novel from Caleb Azumah Nelson, is a delight: a book with a real feeling for sound and dance, and a sense of place from London to Ghana and back again. It’s a...

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Andrey Kurkov: Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv review - a city speaks its multitudes

Hugh Barnes

Rock music helped to subvert the Soviet Union by glamorising youthful rebellion and the West. In the opening scene of Andrey Kurkov’s...

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Helen Czerski: Blue Machine review - how the ocean works

Jon Turney

If you cannot even step into the same river twice, how to take the measure of the ocean? Dipping your toes at the beach is irresistible, but uninformative. Sampling stuff out at sea helps more,...

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Polly Toynbee: An Uneasy Inheritance - My Family and Other Radicals review - looking back

Liz Thomson

There are few contemporary journalists whose names are instantly familiar – and usually it’s for the wrong...

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Sophia Giovannitti: Working Girl - On Selling Art and Selling Sex review - portrait of the artist as sex worker

Lia Rockey

Sophia Giovannitti begins selling sex because it promises to make her the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. She also has a “near categorical hatred of work.”

I nearly –...

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Kieran Yates: All the Houses I've Ever Lived In, Brighton Festival 2023 review - home as comfort, and cruelty

Nick Hasted

The audience questions are when Kieran Yates’ talk boils over. Her book All the Houses I’ve Ever Lived In considers housing policy through autobiography and imaginative research, and the preceding...

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Matthew Shindell: For the Love of Mars: A Human History of the Red Planet review - a world of possibility

Jon Turney

Humans are unsettled by incomplete data, unanswered questions. Show us dots on paper, and we’ll join them to make a picture. Show us objects in the night sky, and we create worlds.

So it has...

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Susan Finlay: The Lives of the Artists review - the knotted threads of memoir and art

Alice Brewer

Benvenuto Cellini’s My Life (1728) is not the artist-biography to which Susan Finlay’s The Lives of the Artists pays its most obvious homage, but it appears to have followed its...

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Glory to Sound: Linton Kwesi Johnson, Brighton Festival 2023 review - a reggae rebel's life in music

Nick Hasted

Straight-backed at 70, Linton Kwesi Johnson wears the smart garb of a British Caribbean elder – trilby, cream jacket, West Indies maroon jumper and tie, grey trousers, blue socks and grey shoes....

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Keggie Carew: Beastly review - the history of animals and us

mark Kidel

There’s been an avalanche of books about animals and trees. The more species disappear and forests are felled, the more titles are published: laments, celebrations, extinction alarms and rhapsodic...

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