More from Books

At last, a novel about the art world that rings true: Annalena Mcfee’s Nightshade reviewed

4 April 2020 9:00 am

On a winter’s night an artist of moderately exalted reputation and in lateish middle age journeys across London, away from…

Has Notre-Dame ever been a symbol of unity for the French?

4 April 2020 9:00 am

From the kitchen of her apartment on the Quai de la Tournelle in Paris, the journalist and broadcaster Agnès Poirier…

Annie Ernaux looks back at her teenage self – and sees a stranger

4 April 2020 9:00 am

How can you recover the teenage girl you were? Not just recall the memories and recount the events — this…

His son’s death may have inspired some of Shakespeare’s greatest lines, but he never recovered from the loss

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Maggie O’Farrell is much possessed by death. Her first novel, After You’d Gone (2000), chronicled the inner life of a…

When six of her 12 children went mad, Mimi Galvin did her best to make to light of it

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Don Galvin and Mimi Blayney married in December 1944. It was a shotgun wedding. They had been high school sweethearts.…

Even Anne Tyler can’t make a solitary Baltimore janitor sound interesting

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Micah Mortimer, the strikingly unproactive protagonist of Anne Tyler’s 23rd novel, is a man of such unswerving routine that his…

Violence and infidelity on sun-drenched Hydra: A Theatre for Dreamers, by Polly Samson, reviewed

4 April 2020 9:00 am

The beautiful Greek island of Hydra became home to a bohemian community of expats in the 1960s, including the Canadian…

The Far East Campaign of 1941-5 is the new focus of Daniel Todman’s comprehensive history

4 April 2020 9:00 am

To begin not at the beginning but at the end of the beginning. Or rather, to begin at another beginning,…

Greg Jenner’s survey of celebrities through the ages has a distinctly Horrible Histories feel

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Good writing about celebrity is scant. It has few poets, because it takes depth to go truly shallow (I’d nominate…

King Solomon’s lost city will remain lost forever

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Armageddon began as Har Megiddo, the Hill of Megiddo in northern Israel. The theological aspect is Christian. For Jews, ancient…

Male violence pulses through Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock

28 March 2020 9:00 am

‘It’s a woman’s thing, creation,’ says Sarah,a girl accused of witchcraft in 18th-century Scotland, in one of the three storylines…

Nature fights back with tooth and claw as we persist in destroying it

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Where to turn in anxious and febrile times? One answer is to nature, or the ‘non-human living world’, which, despite…

A love letter to San Francisco’s mean streets

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Recollections of My Non-Existence is the Rebecca Solnit book I have been waiting for. I was born four years after…

Even in the Swinging Sixties, Ray Davies was feeling nostalgic

28 March 2020 9:00 am

At first glance, nostalgia does not seem like a subject much suited to exploration via the medium of the pop…

What makes Thomas Piketty so sure he can save the world?

28 March 2020 9:00 am

The French economist, statistician and polymath Thomas Piketty sprang to fame in 2013 with a daunting tome, Capital in the…

To hell with hell: Bart Ehrman debunks the Christian belief in perpetual torment

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Here is a sobering thought for anyone involved in the world of finance. Those who charge interest when they lend…

Where would any writer be without a room of their own?

28 March 2020 9:00 am

If you seek out the home of an admired writer, you might find, as with Ernest Hemingway’s house in Havana,…

For Jews in Occupied France, survival was a matter of luck

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Late in his life, I asked my uncle René about his exploits in wartime France. What I knew was that…

The mean streets of 1960s Soho: Bent, by Joe Thomas, and other crime fiction reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Brian De Palma brings his film director’s eye to Are Snakes Necessary? (Hard Case, £16.99), written in collaboration with the…

Until he discovered pop music, life was all Greek to Pete Paphides

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Pop music has always been, to those who love it, to some degree tribal or factional; fans like to carve…

How I became Miss World 1970

21 March 2020 9:00 am

‘Miss World 1970’ is the rather glorious title that Jennifer Hosten won. That was the year that the contest, then…

Jan Morris, at 93, meditates on what it means to be old

21 March 2020 9:00 am

‘I’m getting rather tired of me,’ begins Jan Morris in one of the diary entries in Thinking Again, almost certainly…

Violence and cross-dressing in post-bellum Tennessee: A Thousand Moons, by Sebastian Barry, reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

It was perhaps a mistake to re-read Sebastian Barry’s award-winning Days Without End before its sequel, A Thousand Moons, since…

Master of disguise: the British genius who concealed whole Allied battle lines

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Early one morning in October 1874 a barge carrying three barrels of benzoline and five tons of gunpowder blew up…

Plumbing the mysteries of poltergeists

21 March 2020 9:00 am

This is a paranormal book — by which I mean it exists in a truly out of the ordinary netherworld…