mon 02/08/2021

mental health

10 Questions for novelist Mieko Kawakami

Mieko Kawakami sits firmly amongst the Japanese literati for her sharp and pensive depictions of life in contemporary Japan. Since the translation of Breasts and Eggs (2020), she has also become somewhat of an indie fiction icon in the UK, with her...

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Samantha Walton: Everybody Needs Beauty review - the well of the world

In the opening poem of Samantha Walton's 2018 collection, Self Heal, the speaker is on the tube, that evergreen metaphor of capital's specific barrelling momentum. The tube "will help you see yourself properly for once, all the way through",...

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Lie With Me, Channel 5 review - abuse and betrayal in the Melbourne suburbs

A joint production between Channel 5 and Australia’s Network 10, the four-part mystery Lie With Me didn’t do itself many favours by kicking off with its least persuasive episode. However, if you stuck with it, hidden layers began to reveal...

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King Lear, The Grange Festival review - friendship in adversity

Much has been made of the raison d’etre for this King Lear as the slowly gestated, Covid-delayed brainchild of the director Keith Warner, assembling a company of acting singers who have made their names on the opera stage. How this played out on the...

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The Reason I Jump review - compelling and controversial

Back in 2017, a non-speaking autistic teen, Naoki Higashida wrote and published The Reason I Jump. He hoped it would offer some insight into the minds of people with autism. The book was subsequently translated by Keiko Yoshida and her husband,...

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Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière. It’s one of Europe’s foremost hospitals. It’s the place where 20th-century icons Josephine Baker and Michel...

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Kylie Whitehead: Absorbed review - boundary-blurry, darkly funny debut

Absorbed meets Allison at the end of her relationship with Owen. They are at a New Year's Eve party when she realises that their 10-year partnership has wound down. So far, so normal. But even within this introduction, we are drawn into Allison's...

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Surge review - jittery and joyless

Seventeen years after Ben Whishaw shot to attention playing Hamlet, this terrific actor is again playing someone "mad-north-northwest". Marking TV director Aneil Karia's feature film debut, Surge casts Whishaw as a jittery wreck called Joseph, whose...

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The Artist's Wife review - uninspired portrait of dementia in the Hamptons

“The only child I’ve ever had is you,” the artist’s wife (Lena Olin), spits at the artist, her considerably older husband (Bruce Dern), who retorts, “That was your goddamn choice so don’t blame it on me.”Although the setting – a wintery East Hampton...

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Edward St Aubyn: Double Blind review - constructing 'cognition literature'

If it weren’t for the warning on the blurb, the first chapter of Double Blind would have you wondering whether you’d ordered something from the science section by mistake. It's a novel that throws its reader in at the deep end, where that end is...

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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a small ad in the back pages of the NME in 1977. Male fans and the music...

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Words on Bathroom Walls review - well-meaning but glib

Adam (Charlie Plummer) is being tested for glaucoma at the start of Words on Bathroom Walls, the director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of Julia Walton's 2017 Young Adult novel. In fact, the indrawn teenager is suffering from schizophrenia and will...

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