tue 01/12/2020

book reviews and features

Helen Macdonald: Vesper Flights review - nature lovingly described, nearly lost

India Lewis

Vesper Flights, Helen Macdonald’s first book following her incredibly successful memoir H is for Hawk in 2014, is an excellent collection of short pieces focused on the...

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Zalika Reid-Benta: Frying Plantain review - tales of growing up young, black and female in Toronto

Daniel Lewis

It is as unsurprising as it is vital that a spotlight has been thrown on writing by people of colour this year. It is unsurprising, too – looking at bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic...

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Nick Hayes: The Book of Trespass review – a leap over England's walls

Boyd Tonkin

Since snobbery and deference have a big part to play in Nick Hayes’s exhilarating book, let’s start with the obligatory name-drop. I have lunched – twice, in different country piles, and most...

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Matt Haig: The Midnight Library review - an uplifting modern parable

Sarah Collins

TW: This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, antidepressants and self-harm 

We first meet Nora Seed, “nineteen years before she decides to die”, as she plays chess in the...

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Sharon Dolin: Hitchcock Blonde: A Cinematic Memoir review - a poet’s life filtered through Hitchcock’s lens

Daniel Lewis

Poet Sharon Dolin’s memoir Hitchcock Blonde ends (no spoilers) in the same way as...

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Alex Halberstadt: Young Heroes of the Soviet Union review - a familial history of the twentieth century

India Lewis

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a collective examination of its past, with Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich at the helm. Young Heroes of the Soviet Union...

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Hiromi Kawakami: People From My Neighbourhood review - deft and feather-light

Gaby Frost

Deft and funny prose, in a feather-light translation by Ted Goossen, is the signature of Hiromi Kawakami's latest collection People From My...

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Ali Smith: Summer review - a hopeful present, beautifully described

India Lewis

It is no surprise, given her Cambridge Intellectual literary style, that Ali Smith’s Summer is multi-layered, referential, and filled with cameos from giants in the fields of art and...

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Mary South: You Will Never Be Forgotten review - canny tales of uncanny tech

Lydia Bunt

Never Let Me Go meets free, two-day shipping.” This is how Mary South describes “Keith Prime”, the first story in her debut collection. Undoubtedly, Kazuo Ishiguro springs to mind in the...

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Emily St John Mandel: The Glass Hotel review - a Ponzi scheme and its ghostly repercussions

Markie Robson-Scott

Vast wealth and equally vast fraud are part of the plot in The Glass Hotel, Emily St John Mandel’s irresistible fifth novel, but much stranger things are at play here – ghosts, parallel...

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latest in today

Blu-ray: Goodbye, Dragon Inn by Tsai Ming-Liang

In his exclusive, half-an-hour-plus interview with Second Run, the affable Tsai Ming-Liang makes a striking...

The Undoing, Series Finale, Sky Atlantic review - bluff and...

Throughout its preceding five episodes, The Undoing (...

Zaina Arafat: You Exist Too Much review - second-generation...

Zaina Arafat’s debut details the trials and tribulations of its first generation American-...

Small Axe: Red, White and Blue, BBC One review - sobering re...

The third film in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe quintet (BBC...

Isata Kanneh-Mason, BBCSSO, Gourlay online review - give tha...

As our friends across the pond celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, a mix of music from...

Patrick Barwise and Peter York: The War Against the BBC revi...

When in June 2019 the BBC announced plans to restrict free TV licences...

What a Carve Up!, Barn Theatre online review – ingenious who...

Classical murder mysteries end with a neat solution — and with the arrest of the perpetrator. Postmodern...

Album: Sigur Rós - Odin's Raven Magic

Odin’s ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) are the great Norse god’s messengers, at the heart of a...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Trees - 50th Anniversary box set

Fifty years after their first album The Garden Of Jane Delawney was issued in April...

Dua Lipa's Studio 2054 online - pop sensation locked in...

As with so much in these unprecedented times, online performance is evolving, and fast: different approaches are becoming established formats....

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