Books

Voices of exile

15 July 2017 9:00 am

During the military dictatorships of the 1970s, exile for many Latin American writers was not so much a state of…

An airborne early warning system leads fighter jets during a military parade in Beijing

China syndrome

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Every day on his way to work at Harvard, Professor Allison wondered how the reconstruction of the bridge over Boston’s…

Self’s obsessions

15 July 2017 9:00 am

This 600-page, single-paragraph novel shuttles back and forth across time between the perspectives of an elderly and confused psychiatrist, a…

On matters maritime

15 July 2017 9:00 am

The Greenland shark has to be one of the most fascinating creatures of which you’ve probably never heard. Growing sometimes…

Latest crime fiction

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Wolfgang Herrndorf’s Sand (Pushkin Press, £14.99) is set in 1972 and moves back and forth between a North African city…

Thoreau: the poet-naturalist and political radical

Taking the rough with the smooth

8 July 2017 9:00 am

In The Ambassadors, Henry James sends Lewis Lambert Strether from Boston to Paris to retrieve Chad Newsome, the wayward heir…

Mother Medea

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Medea’s continuing hold over spinners of tall tales from Euripides to Chaucer to Pasolini needs little explanation; she’s an archetype…

‘The Arrival of the Pilgrims Fathers’, 1864, Antonio Gilbert (oil on canvas)

Crossing the pond

8 July 2017 9:00 am

What led a person in 17th-century England to get on a ship bound for the Americas? James Evans attempts to…

Dark night of the soul

8 July 2017 9:00 am

As bombs fall everywhere in Syria and IS fighters destroy Palmyra, a musicologist in Vienna lies awake all night thinking…

Hot Spring

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Imagine if Kathy Lette — or possibly Julie Burchill — had written a feminist, magic-realist saga that sent four women…

McEnroe serving in a mixed doubles match with Steffi Graf at Wimbledon, 1999

Always the Superbrat

8 July 2017 9:00 am

John McEnroe’s father calls. In fact, he calls McEnroe’s manager’s phone, presumably because dad doesn’t have a direct line to…

Nello and Carlo Rosselli, photograph from a family album

In defiance of Il Duce

8 July 2017 9:00 am

The details of Mussolini’s fascism are perhaps not quite as familiar in this country as they might be. Even quite…

A woman of some importance

8 July 2017 9:00 am

It might seem unlikely that a Christian noblewoman could have had influence over a Muslim city in the 13th century,…

Something nasty in the woodshed

8 July 2017 9:00 am

I’ve diagnosed myself with early onset cottage-itis. It’s not supposed to happen for another decade, but at 29 I dream…

Doctor of humility

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Henry Marsh’s book Do No Harm (2014) was that rare thing — a neurosurgeon showing his fallibility in public and…

Hanna Reitsch — a committed Nazi and idol of German aviation.

High flyers

1 July 2017 9:00 am

It is conventional wisdom in the publishing industry that, despite the old adage, readers do indeed judge books by their…

Whimsical digressions

1 July 2017 9:00 am

The practical difficulties of extracting keys from the pockets of tight-fitting trousers while ascending stairs; the logistical hazards of seducing…

At 350ft tall, Godzilla would collapse under its own weight. But with two giant legs and a tiny body, it would be eminently feasible

Size matters

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Trust scientists to ruin all our fun. The spectacularly beautiful 2014 film reboot of Godzilla, it turns out, is anatomically…

Czesław Miłosz in Paris in 2001

Worthy, but wordy

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Milan Kundera’s novel Immortality wryly depicts Goethe preparing for immortality — neatly laying out his life in Dichtung und Warheit…

King of Chicago crime: Al Capone in the late 1920s

Vice guys

1 July 2017 9:00 am

In 1981, an FBI team visited Donald Trump to discuss his plans for a casino in Atlantic City. Trump admitted…

Fad fury

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Anthony Warner is angry. He’s angry about diets. He’s angry about detoxes. He’s angry about pseudoscience — and he has…

Two dark tales

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Just over halfway through this grim and gripping book, the author describes herself and her girlfriend ‘lying on my bed…

The influence of the sun, moon and stars on reading the signs of the Kabbalah

The appeal of mysticism

1 July 2017 9:00 am

This extraordinary book has two main characters: Gershom Scholem (1897–1982), an early Zionist and the founder of the modern study…

A choice of first novels

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Patty Yumi Cottrell’s blackly comic and sophisticated debut Sorry to Disturb the Peace (And Other Stories, £10) opens with Helen…

Life classes

1 July 2017 9:00 am

It has taken much of a celebrated literary life for Elif Batuman to produce a novel. At the beginning of…