mon 26/07/2021

book reviews and features

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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theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Mark Hudson

Remember when festivals were only about what they were ostensibly about? When, say, Reading offered nothing beyond hard rock bar disgusting toilets, overpriced hamburgers and the prospect of a...

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Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

Ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Biographer Claire Tomalin on Charles Dickens

Jasper Rees

The tally of Charles Dickens’s biographers grows ever closer to 100. The English language’s most celebrated novelist repays repeated study, of course, because both his life and his work are so...

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'Books have been my life': Doris Lessing

Jasper Rees

Doris Lessing’s storm-tossed life would make a stirring biopic. She spent her early years on an isolated farm in the Southern Rhodesian veldt, abandoned the children of her first marriage to take...

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10 Questions for Count Arthur Strong

Jasper Rees

Autumn is a season of tumbling leaves, dark afternoons and of course fatuous memoirs from people off the telly. But every so often the world is taken by surprise, less by autumn itself than by the...

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Extract: George Harrison - Behind the Locked Door

graeme Thomson

Following the completion of the White Album, and the conclusion of recording sessions in Los Angeles with new Apple signing Jackie Lomax, in late November 1968 George Harrison and his...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Sex researcher Shere Hite

Jasper Rees

This week Channel 4 embarks on a season of programmes about sex. Real sex, it claims, in real British bedrooms. A new series called Masters of Sex dramatises the story of William Masters...

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latest in today

Album: Willow - Lately I Feel Everything

Willow Smith has done more during her life than the average 20-year-old. The daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, she bounced off her...

Professor T, ITV review - whimsical tales of boffinly detect...

ITV’s new detective mystery, Professor T, is an...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Chris Barber - A Trailblazer's Lega...

The book included with this splendid box set dedicated to British jazz innovator Chris Barber includes a series of quotes paying tribute to his...

Off the Rails review - go for the scenery, not the script

Mamma Mia! hovers unhelpfully over every frame of Off the Rails, a road...

Reclaiming Amy, BBC Two review - Winehouse family and friend...

“My worst fear? What am I scared of?” Amy Winehouse ponders. She pauses thoughtfully: “Myself.”

Ten years to the day since she died, ...

Album: Anne-Marie - Therapy

Anne-Marie Nicholson is a hard-working young woman from Essex whose career description is “Global Girl-next-door Pop Star”. She has incrementally...

Le Comte Ory, Garsington Opera review - high musical style a...

Play it straight and you’ll get more laughs: that’s the standard advice on great operatic comedies like the masterpieces of the Gilbert &...

Album: Jackson Browne - Downhill From Everywhere

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 50 years since I splurged a day’s Saturday pay on For Everyman, Jackson Browne’s second...

Lava, Bush Theatre review - poetic writing, mesmerically per...

What’s in a name? In Benedict Lombe’s incendiary...

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