mon 29/11/2021

book reviews and features

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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Mark Fisher: Postcapitalist Desire - The Final Lectures review - imagining the alternative

Daniel Baksi

Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures is a collection of transcripts, recording weekly group lectures...

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The Danish Collector: Delacroix to Gauguin review - fabulous...

In Paris on a business trip in 1916, Wilhelm Hansen was no doubt...

Album: Kenny G - New Standards

Saxophonist Kenny G knows exactly what buttons he needs to press to upset the...

Music Reissues Weekly: Box Of Pin-Ups - The British Sounds o...

Signs of irrevocable change materialised in December 1965. On...

Paris Photo 2021 review - a moveable feast

Paris Photo 2021 was a wonderful show. Back after the pandemic it was moved to the Grand Palais Éphémère, a temporary structure built...

Scenes from the Wild, Morgan, CLS, Paterson, Southwark Cathe...

Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist (14 at the...

The Unforgivable review - Sandra Bullock gets stuck in a doo...

Based fairly closely on Sally Wainwright’s 2009...

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Mill, Birmingham rev...

When those cold winter nights start closing in, there is really only two choices for facing up to the unpleasantness that this brings. Stay at...

Album: Arca - KICK ii / KICK iii / KICK iiii

Alejandra Ghersi – Arca – is one of the most influential musicians on the planet in the last decade. Even aside from working with huge names like...

Four Quartets, Harold Pinter Theatre review - brilliant Fien...

Words flow like water in TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, shimmering with allusion, swirling...

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