Books

The best and coolest decade: nostalgia for the 1990s

12 February 2022 9:00 am

The long 1990s began with the Pixies album Surfer Rosa in 1989 and ended with the invasion of Iraq in…

A Canadian’s experience of the migrant’s ordeal

12 February 2022 9:00 am

No one boards an overladen dinghy and sets out across a choppy sea without very good reason. Laden into migrant…

An innocent abroad: a Dutch tour operator in 1980s Russia

12 February 2022 9:00 am

‘One morning in late October 1988,’ begins TheLong Song of Tchaikovsky Street, ‘this dapper-looking guy from Leiden asked me if…

Don’t listen to Johann Hari to help your attention span

5 February 2022 9:00 am

In 1887, Friedrich Nietzsche made a complaint about the modern world, writing in The Gay Science: Even now one is…

Eugenics will never work — thankfully

5 February 2022 9:00 am

The creation of a master race is an ancient idea which, thankfully, can never work, says Sam Leith

Abstract and concrete: the beauty of brutalism

5 February 2022 9:00 am

Nothing divides the British like modernist architecture. Traditionalists are suspicious of its utopian ambitions and dismiss it as ugly; proponents…

Is Julian Assange on a hiding to nothing?

5 February 2022 9:00 am

A question looms throughout this book: is it better to die rather than experience the wrath of a publicly shamed…

Both epic and intimate: The Love Songs of W.E. Du Bois, by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

To write a first novel of 800 pages is either supremely confident or crazy. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, a professor of…

Is it an exaggeration to talk of a ‘gender war’?

5 February 2022 9:00 am

According to Nina Power’s forceful and rather unusual What Do Men Want?, we in the West are currently engaged in…

A modern Medea: Iron Curtain, by Vesna Goldsworthy, reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

Vesna Goldsworthy’s finely wrought third novel explodes into life early on with a shocking scene in which Misha — the…

Stalin the intellectual: the dictator cast in a new light

5 February 2022 9:00 am

The link between mass-murdering dictators and the gentle occupation of reading and writing books is a curious one, but it…

At last, a literary sexy novel: Love Marriage, by Monica Ali, reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

At last, and finally: literary sex is back. The Bad Sex Prize has a lot to answer for in British…

Parallel lives: Violets, by Alex Hyde, reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

When Violet wakes up in Birmingham Women’s Hospital at the start of Alex Hyde’s debut novel her first thought is…

All hell breaks loose when our senses go haywire

5 February 2022 9:00 am

Jesus is a Malteser. You might say I’m a liar or accuse me of the most egregious heresy, but the…

French Kiss-Off

29 January 2022 9:00 am

For decades the purpose of British settlement in New South Wales seemed too obvious to question. The American War of…

Pre-crime has arrived in China

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The idea of ‘pre-crime’ was popularised by Philip K. Dick’s story ‘The Minority Report’ and the 2002 Steven Spielberg film…

Scaling the heights: a woman’s experience of mountain climbing

29 January 2022 9:00 am

In her memoir Time on Rock, Anna Fleming charts her progress from ‘terrified novice’ to ‘competent leader’ as she scales…

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…

A guide to the apothecary’s garden

29 January 2022 9:00 am

On 23 May 1804, two months before his daughter’s wedding, John Coakley Lettsom threw open his estate in Camberwell. Some…

The BBC is trapped in its own smug bubble

29 January 2022 9:00 am

An incalculable number of trees have been hewn down recently in order to provide paper for people writing lengthy, largely…

Adapt or die: what the natural world can teach us about climate change

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Climate change may be the central challenge of our century, but almost all attention has focused on its consequences for…

What did the Russians make of Francis Bacon?

29 January 2022 9:00 am

The KGB might not have known much about modern art, but they knew what they liked. For instance, at what…

The women who challenged a stale, male philosophy

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Kathleen Stock describes how four women undergraduates in 1940s Oxford challenged an arid, modish philosophy

Dystopian horror: They, by Kay Dick, reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Her name has faded, but the British author and editor Kay Dick once cut a striking figure. She lived in…

Man of mystery: Not Everybody Lives the Same Way, by Jean-Paul Dubois, reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

For Jean-Paul Dubois, as for Emily Dickinson, ‘March is the month of expectation’. A prolific writer, he limits his literary…