fri 25/09/2020

book reviews and features

Panikos Panayi: Migrant City review – the capital of the world

Boyd Tonkin

Some menus never change. In 1910, the Loyal British Waiters Society came into being, prompted by “xenophobic resentment at the dominance of foreigners in the restaurant trade”. London’s German...

Read more...

Patricia Grace: Potiki review – a searching examination of human nature

Daniel Baksi

With the publication of her first work, Waiariki (1975), Patricia Grace became the author of the first ever collection of short stories by a Māori woman. In the four-and-a-half decades...

Read more...

Eimear McBride: Strange Hotel review - keycards to the heart of a woman in flight

Boyd Tonkin

Hotels in fiction can serve as places of desolation or discovery; as escape hatches, or else punishment blocks. In her third novel, Eimear McBride channels this ambivalence but annexes it to...

Read more...

Jenny Offill: Weather review - the low hum of misgiving

Jessica Payn

Neatly contained, truncated by decisive white space, Jenny Offill’s paragraphs – they have been called “fragments” and even “stanzas” – might be the first thing you notice about Weather,...

Read more...

Sophy Roberts: The Lost Pianos of Siberia review - a distant musical journey

Tom Birchenough

For travellers, “music is a passport, especially in Russia…” Borrowing an adage from the British diplomat Thomas...

Read more...

Francesca Wade: Square Haunting - Bloomsbury retold

Florence Hallett

These days, Bloomsbury rests in a state of elegant somnolence. The ghosts of...

Read more...

Kapka Kassabova: To the Lake review - Macedonia's lacustrine heart

Jessica Payn

To the Lake, Kassabova titles this book, but the journey it unfolds tells of not one ancient lake but two: “twins” Ohrid and Prespa, the Lake of Light and the Vale of Snow; these siblings...

Read more...

Tomasz Jedrowski: Swimming in the Dark review – of hypocrisy, both personal and systemic

Daniel Lewis

Conjuring up nostalgia for a past readers never had is, perhaps, the litmus test for any good coming-of-age story. Writers have the hard task of making the general particular – because growing up...

Read more...

Albert Costa: The Bilingual Brain review – double-talking heads and what they tell us

Boyd Tonkin

Those of us who have to toil and sweat with other languages often feel a twinge of envy when we meet truly bilingual folk. That ability to switch codes, seemingly without any fuss, must confer so...

Read more...

Clemens Meyer: Dark Satellites review - eccentric orbits

James Dowsett

In Clemens Meyer’s new collection of short stories Dark Satellites (translated from German by Kate...

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Album: Róisín Murphy - Róisín Machine

This is a musical homecoming for Róisín Murphy, both geographically and figuratively. She may have been raised in Dublin and spent her gig-going...

Monsoon review - like something almost being said

Building very promisingly on the achievement of his ...

Album: Corey Taylor - CMFT

The graveyard of tedious musical vanity projects – and the bargain bins of many record shops – is filled with solo albums by the lead vocalists of...

The Cheeky Chappie, The Warren Outdoors review - entertainin...

It’s fitting that there’s another run of Dave Simpson’s terrific play...

theartsdesk Q&A: musician Kevin Rowland - 'it was p...

“Whoargh! Steady lads!” Under that headline, NME reported that Kevin Rowland had “announced his return to the music scene with a bizarre...

Album: Public Enemy – What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes D...

It will come as a surprise to nobody that the esteemed elders of rap ...

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters