Books

A visit from Neanderthals: The Red Children, by Maggie Gee, reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

This is the kind of novel that will be discussed jubilantly in the book clubs of places like Lib Dem…

Disregarded for decades, Jean Rhys stayed true to her vision of life

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Jean Rhys lived a vagabond life – but she wrote about gloom and squalor with luminous purity and a poet’s care, says Lucasta Miller

Is Mark Twain’s old age best forgotten?

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Mark Twain conquered almost every challenge that came his way except old age. Living well into his seventies, he was…

Presumption of guilt

30 April 2022 9:00 am

The Pell case is a contemporary Australian version of the infamous Dreyfus case in 19th century France and may even…

Poor parenting is at the root of our failing schools

30 April 2022 9:00 am

When it comes to education, I’m in two minds, maybe three. I was sent to private schools, including, for my…

Boris Iofan – cunning apparatchik of a loathsome regime

30 April 2022 9:00 am

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has rendered what might otherwise have seemed a fairly niche study of a…

The musical note that can trigger cold sweats and sightings of the dead

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Imagine that all the frequencies nature affords were laid out on an extended piano keyboard. Never mind that some waves…

Murder, suicide and apocalypse: Here Goes Nothing, by Steve Toltz, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Angus Mooney is dead. Freshly murdered, he’s appalled to find himself in an Afterworld, having always rejected the possibility of…

Momentous decisions: Ruth & Pen, by Emilie Pine, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Emilie Pine writes about the big things and the little things: friendship, love, fertility, grief; waking, showering, catching the bus.…

The effortless magnetism of Marcel Duchamp

30 April 2022 9:00 am

One could compile a fat anthology of tributes to Marcel Duchamp’s charm – especially what one friend called the artist’s…

Boy wonder: The Young Pretender, by Michael Arditti, reviewed

30 April 2022 9:00 am

During his brief stage career Master Betty, or the Young Roscius, was no stranger to superlatives: genius, unparalleled, superior, Albion’s…

You can make anything up about the royal family and it will be printed as a matter of fact

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Royal gossip is largely invented, says Philip Hensher – but Tina Brown repeats it regardless

The murky history of Germany’s top family businesses

23 April 2022 9:00 am

It was a clear cold morning in January 1936 when Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler arrived at the luxurious Regina Palast Hotel…

The case of the ‘Hay Poisoner’ inspired many a cosy murder mystery

23 April 2022 9:00 am

The case of the retired major Herbert Rowse Armstrong, a Hay-on-Wye solicitor hanged in 1922 for killing his wife Katharine…

We must all become Doctor Dolittles and listen to the wisdom of animals

23 April 2022 9:00 am

One day the writer and artist James Bridle rented a hatchback, taped a smartphone to the steering wheel and installed…

Accusations of racism have lost all meaning

23 April 2022 9:00 am

The War on the West is Douglas Murray’s latest blast against loony left wokery, chiefly in the areas of race…

Michel Houellebecq may be honoured by the French establishment, but he’s no fan of Europe

23 April 2022 9:00 am

For many years, Michel Houellebecq was patronised by the French literary establishment as an upstart, what with his background in…

Memory test: The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan, reviewed

23 April 2022 9:00 am

On page 231 of The Candy House, a sequel – no, a ‘sibling’ says Jennifer Egan – to the Pulitzer…

A tale of forbidden love: Trespasses, by Louise Kennedy, reviewed

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Kenneth Branagh’s Oscar-winning recent film Belfast chronicles the travails of a Protestant family amid sectarian conflict in 1969. Louise Kennedy’s…

Nymphomaniac, fearless campaigner, alcoholic – Nancy Cunard was all this and more

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Nancy Cunard’s defiance of convention began early, fuelled by bitter resentment towards her mother, says Jane Ridley

Jonathan Bate weaves a memoir around madness in English literature

23 April 2022 9:00 am

There is a trend for books in which academics write personally about their engagement with literature. Examples include Lara Feigel’s…

A universal language will always be an unattainable dream

23 April 2022 9:00 am

The comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in his stage persona as the dim-witted interviewer Ali G, once asked Noam Chomsky if…

Bitter harvest – how Ukraine’s wheat has always been coveted

16 April 2022 9:00 am

Publishers love books with ambitious subtitles such as ‘How Bubblegum Made the Modern World’, and this one’s, about American wheat…

Stewart Brand: man of ideas and infuriating contrarian

16 April 2022 9:00 am

In his 2005 book What The Dormouse Said John Markoff traced the roots of the personal computer industry to the…

Will there ever be a reliable lie detector?

16 April 2022 9:00 am

For as long as we have been human we have looked for some way of telling when we are being…