Suzi Feay

Visitants from the past: The Ministry of Time, by Kaliane Bradley, reviewed

1 June 2024 9:00 am

An experimental project transports people across centuries. Lieutenant Graham Gore, an Arctic explorer whisked from the 1840s to present-day London, is not overly impressed

The slave’s story: James, by Percival Everett, reviewed

27 April 2024 9:00 am

A retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the voice of Huck’s companion the runaway slave changes the nature of the pair’s relationship – not always for the better

A free spirit: Clairmont, by Lesley McDowell, reviewed

2 March 2024 9:00 am

Even by the Villa Diodati’s standards, Claire Clairmont was unconventional, seducing Byron when she was 18, and giving birth to their child after a possible affair with Shelley

Why were masters of the occult respected but witches burnt?

6 January 2024 9:00 am

Anthony Grafton discusses five celebrated scholars, beginning with Dr Faustus, who separated ‘good’ magic from ‘bad’ in their studies of alchemy, astrology and conjuration

Learned necromancers and lascivious witches: magic and misogyny through the ages

7 October 2023 9:00 am

We seem just as captivated by magic today as our Sumerian ancestors ever were, says Suzi Feay

A born rebel

9 September 2023 9:00 am

Four days after she last saw her, Natasha Walter’s mother Ruth took her own life. The loss throws Natasha into a desperate search for meaning by examining Ruth’s peace-activist past and beyond

Fame came too late for Nick Drake

24 June 2023 9:00 am

The singer-songwriter deserved to be far better known in his lifetime – but reticence and mental illness contributed to his tragically early death in 1974

A wilderness of mirrors

8 April 2023 9:00 am

A young stage illusionist is recruited by the British secret service to extract a list of double agents concealed in a Russian magician’s stage prop

Strange noises from upstairs

25 February 2023 9:00 am

Trapped abroad during lockdown, a lackadaisical reviewer is spurred to investigate the mysterious noises coming from the floor above his hotel suite

Helpless human puppets: Liberation Day, by George Saunders, reviewed

29 October 2022 9:00 am

George Saunders’s handbook published last year, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, gave masterclasses on seven short stories…

Explorer, author, soldier, lover: The Romantic, by William Boyd, reviewed

1 October 2022 9:00 am

William Boyd taps into the classical novel tradition with this sweeping tale of one man’s century-spanning life, even to the…

Hysterical outbursts: Bewitched, by Jill Dawson, reviewed

9 July 2022 9:00 am

‘Witch-hunt’ has become a handy metaphor for online persecutions, especially of women, though these days it is reputations that go…

The Victorian origins of ‘medieval’ folklore

18 June 2022 9:00 am

I would guess that contemporary pagans have a love-hate relationship with Ronald Hutton. With books such as The Triumph of…

Smugglers’ gold: Winchelsea, by Alex Preston, reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The atmospheric medieval town of Rye on the south coast still celebrates being a former haunt of smugglers, and on…

Interpreting for a dictator: Intimacies, by Katie Kitamura, reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

If this is a cautious and circumspect novel, it’s because it involves a cautious and circumspect job: that of interpreter.…

Death and dishonour: The Promise, by Damon Galgut, reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

If death is not an event in life, as Wittgenstein observed, it’s a curious way to structure a novel. But…

Cairo in crisis: The Republic of False Truths, by Alaa Al Aswany, reviewed

15 May 2021 9:00 am

Certain novels complicate the very notion of literary enjoyment. This, by the author of the international bestseller The Yacoubian Building,…

The Generic Asian Man: Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu, reviewed

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Of the handful of things we can establish about Willis Wu, the protagonist of Charles Yu’s second novel, the most…

A brutal education: At Night All Blood is Black, by David Diop, reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Alfa Ndiaye, a Senegalese soldier fighting for France in the trenches of the Great War, is consumed by bloodlust, which…

A dazzling fable about loneliness: Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke, reviewed

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Susanna Clarke is a member of the elite group of authors who don’t write enough. In 2004, the bestselling debut…

Madcap escapades: The All True Adventures (and Rare Education) of the Daredevil Daniel Bones, by Owen Booth, reviewed

8 August 2020 9:00 am

The narrative of an adolescent travelling by water with an older companion, undergoing trials and ordeals, encountering scoundrels and villains,…

The sorrows of young Hillary: Rodham, by Curtis Sittenfeld, reviewed

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Question: which American president and first lady would you care to imagine having intercourse? If that provokes a shudder, be…

Dr Livingstone becomes a dead weight: Out of Darkness, Shining Light, by Petina Gappah

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

The scope of Petina Gappah’s impressive novel is laid out in the prologue: the death of the Victorian explorer David…

The wanderings of Ullis: Low, by Jeet Thayil, reviewed

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Jeet Thayil’s previous novel, The Book of Chocolate Saints, an account of a fictional Indian artist and poet told in…

The novel Silicon Valley’s tech moguls won’t be amused to read

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Silicon Valley moguls might not find Zed a particularly amusing read. Joanna Kavenna’s latest mindbender features the CEO of a…