thu 17/06/2021

book reviews and features

theartsdesk Q&A: Amina Cain on her first novel and her eternal fascination with suggestion

Jessica Payn

Amina Cain is a writer of near-naked spaces and roomy characters. Her debut collection of short fiction, I...

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Jackie Kay: Bessie Smith review – vivid writing about the Empress of the Blues

Sebastian Scotney

Blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-...

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Patricia Lockwood: No One is Talking About This review - first novel goes beyond the internet

Markie Robson-Scott

This is a novel, says Patricia Lockwood in her Twitter feed, about being very inside the...

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CLR James: Minty Alley review - love and betrayal in the barrack-yard

James Dowsett

CLR James came to London from Trinidad in 1932, clutching the manuscript of his first and only novel. He soon found work, writing about cricket for the Manchester Guardian, as well as a...

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Tabitha Lasley: Sea State review - a one-woman odyssey through UK oil

Daniel Lewis

Straight off the bat, Tabitha Lasley’s soon-to-be ex-boss points out the fatal flaw in her life-changing project. Jettisoning her job at a women’s magazine, a long-term boyfriend, a cramped London...

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Francis Spufford: Light Perpetual review - time regained

Boyd Tonkin

On 25 November 1944, a German V2 rocket struck the Woolworths store in New Cross at Saturday lunchtime. It killed 168 people. Francis Spufford’s second...

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Alice Ash: Paradise Block review - a matrix-like collection that reinvents the short story genre

Lydia Bunt

“Burglar alarms jangled through the empty hallways of Paradise Block.” In this ramshackle, lonely tenement, such alarms might be one’s only company. Yet, in this intricate collection of...

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Eddie S Glaude Jr: Begin Again - James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today review - can America avoid the fire this time?

Liz Thomson

I suspect that the work of James Baldwin is not all that familiar to readers in Britain, perhaps not even to...

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Olivia Sudjic: Asylum Road review - trauma, barely suppressed

India Lewis

In Asylum Road, Olivia Sudjic's third book, everything is purposeful, each loaded gun introduced...

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Raven Leilani: Luster - portrait of the artist as a black millennial woman

Daniel Lewis

One of the finer episodes in Raven Leilani’s startling debut (which contains an embarrassment of fine episodes)...

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Drawing is the cornerstone of artistic practice, but is often overshadowed by "higher" forms of visual art, such as painting and sculpture. When...

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