Sarah Ditum

Patti Smith had a bad year in 2016

12 October 2019 9:00 am

In the Chinese zodiac, 2016 was the year of the monkey, a trickster year full of the unhappy and the…

A New York state of mind – Doxology reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Doxology covers five decades and a spacious 400 pages, with all the subplots and digressions you would expect of a…

The trail-blazing women writers of the 1960s were quite different from the male Angries

17 August 2019 9:00 am

The accepted story of mid-20th century culture in Britain belongs to the boys: the British Invasion, Beyond the Fringe and…

A fallen woman in a vicious world: Jack the Ripper’s last victim, depicted in Le Petit Parisien

Why are we so obsessed with Jack the Ripper, but care so little for his victims?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

Before she was the subject of true-crime mythologising, Catherine Eddowes made her living from it, selling ballads based on real-life…

Caryl Phillips’s new novel manages to make Jean Rhys boring!

14 July 2018 9:00 am

The problem with writing about writers — and a particular blight on the current vogue for autofiction — is that…

Kitty Marion: too radical even for the suffragettes

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The suffragettes are largely remembered not as firestarters and bombers but as pale martyrs to patriarchy. The hunger artists refusing…

Who is Sylvia – what is she?

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In May 1956, three months after meeting Ted Hughes, one before they will marry, Sylvia Plath writes to her mother…

Inside the mind of a murderer

6 February 2016 9:00 am

For one week in July 2010, the aspiring spree killer Raoul Moat was the only news. ‘Aspiring’ because he didn’t…

Poet Laureate Ted Hughes (Photo: Getty)

In Crow’s dark shadow

26 September 2015 8:00 am

A dead parent, the interrogation of a literary inheritance, and over everything, a bird: Max Porter is apparently unafraid to…