Cressida Connolly

Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House is even better on second reading

5 October 2019 9:00 am

Having a saint in the family is dreadful, They’re often absent, either literally or emotionally, and because they’re always thinking…

The upsides of dementia: Forgetfulness can be a blessing

1 June 2019 9:00 am

My 91-year-old father-in-law has always had a terror of hospitals. This dates from his time as a Royal Marine when,…

Vivien Leigh as Anna Karenina in the 1948 film. Credit: Getty Images

Travelling by train – with Anna Karenina

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Any memoir is a form of double-entry book-keeping, in which what has been lost is reckoned against what has been…

Portrait of the Artist’s wife, by Henry Herbert La Thangue. Credit: Bridgeman Images

Tear-stained ramblings that remained unsent

5 January 2019 9:00 am

The deserved success of Shaun Usher’s marvellous anthology Letters of Note has inspired several imitators, and Caroline Atkins’s sparkling collection…

The miserly widow Mary Emsley, clutching a roll of her precious wallpaper, as portrayed in the popular press

Ill-met by gaslight

9 September 2017 9:00 am

What is it about Victorian murders that so grips us? The enduring fascination of Jack the Ripper caught the imagination…

The Wicked Boy is finally redeemed

30 April 2016 9:00 am

During the heatwave in the summer of 1895, the Gentlemen v. Players match at Lords Cricket Ground on 8 July…

Sebastian Faulks returns to the psychiatrist’s chair in Where My Heart Used to Beat

12 September 2015 9:00 am

There can hardly be two novelists less alike than Sebastian Faulks and Will Self, in style and in content. Faulks…

Shunned, slighted and starving in Sheffield — the Indian immigrants who have become Britain’s untouchables

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Novels of such scope and invention are all too rare; unusual, too, are those of real heart, whose characters you…

Why I love undertakers

13 June 2015 9:00 am

I adore undertakers. Unlike dentists or buses or boyfriends, they’re always there when you need them: even if you call…

Terror Management Studies is a brand new area of research — and it’s not about IS or Boko Haram

23 May 2015 9:00 am

This is not a book to be read in solitude. Not for the obvious reason that it’s frightening, but because…

‘The Giantess’ by Leonora Carrington, currently on show at Tate Liverpool

A mad menage — and menagerie - in Mexico: the life of Leonora Carrington in fictional form

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Leonora Carrington is one of those jack-in-the-boxes who languish forgotten in the cultural toy cupboard and then pop up every…

Rugger, Robin Hood and Rupert of the Rhine: enthusiasms of the young Antonia Fraser

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Despite it being a well known fact that Antonia Fraser had earthly parents, I had always imagined that she had…

The problem when novelists write short stories

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Rose Tremain walks on water. Her historical novels are absolutely marvellous, brilliantly plotted, witty and wise, with some of the…

Care for the dying needs more imagination – and less hospitalisation

1 November 2014 9:00 am

‘To die of age is a rare, singular and extra-ordinary death’, wrote Montaigne, ‘and so much less natural than others:…

If you don’t think this novel is practically perfect, I’ll send you a replacement

4 October 2014 9:00 am

If there were a harvest festival to honour the bounty of the autumnal book crop, the choir would be in…

Improbable, unconvincing and lazy - Ian McEwan’s latest is unforgivable

6 September 2014 9:00 am

The Children Act could hardly be more attuned to the temper of the times, appearing just as our newspapers are…

This thriller is as good as anything by Hilary Mantel

30 August 2014 9:00 am

A few years ago, after a lifetime of wearing white shirts through which the straps of my white bra were…

The cruellest present you could give a hated old in-law

5 July 2014 9:00 am

It takes a special sort of talent to be able to make drawings of your own 97-year-old mother on her…

My desert island poet

31 May 2014 9:00 am

If I had to be marooned on a desert island with a stranger, that stranger would be John Burnside. Not…

No one would want to live in Jane Gardam's stories – but they're an amazing place to visit

24 May 2014 9:00 am

In the world of Jane Gardam’s stories the past is always present, solid and often unwanted and always too big,…

Mid-life crisis, 13th-century style

10 May 2014 9:00 am

The word delicate is seldom a compliment.  I once threw a saucepan of hot soup out of a fifth storey…

Samuel Beckett walks into a nail bar

29 March 2014 9:00 am

It isn’t very often that a writer’s work is so striking that you can remember exactly where and when you…

Sometimes one story is worth buying a whole book for. This is one of those times

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Any new book by Lorrie Moore is a cause for rejoicing, but her first collection of short stories for 16…

Scarlett O’Hara runs through the streets of burning Atlanta

'Where are the happy fictional spinsters?'

18 January 2014 9:00 am

This book arose from an argument. Lifelong bookworm Samantha Ellis and her best friend had gone to Brontë country and…

'God has given me a new Turkish colleague called Mustapha Kunt...'

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Under normal circumstances, Simon Garfield’s chatty and informative excursion into the history of letter-writing would be a book to recommend.…