Fiction

Sisters under the skin: Han Kang’s The White Book reviewed

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Before the narrator of The White Book is born, her mother has another child; two months premature, the baby dies…

Has Paul Theroux finally lost it?

2 December 2017 9:00 am

As I ploughed through this semi-autobiographical behemoth about an author and travel writer obsessed with his siblings and mother, I…

On the run with Martin Luther King’s assassin

2 December 2017 9:00 am

This newly translated novel by the Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina is really two books, spliced together in alternating chapters.…

Ali Smith’s Winter is calm, cool and consoling

4 November 2017 9:00 am

In 1939, Barbara Hepworth gathered her children and her chisels and fled Hampstead for Cornwall. She expected war to challenge…

Aircraft carriers USS Midway and the USS Enterprise of the United States NavY, 1945 (Photo: Getty)

On the waterfront

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Much has been made of the American novelist Jennifer Egan’s mutation, in her latest novel, from purveyor of metafiction and…

Gleaming pictures of the past

14 October 2017 9:00 am

If you think you know what to expect from an Alan Hollinghurst novel, then when it comes to The Sparsholt…

Author Nathan Englander (Photo: Getty)

Highly charged territory

14 October 2017 9:00 am

I first heard of this tragicomic spy romp around Israel and Palestine when Julian Barnes sang its praises in the…

Putting the boot into Italy

14 October 2017 9:00 am

A young woman, naked and covered in blood, totters numbly down a night road. A driver spots her in his…

Apostle of gloom

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Few people turn to Henning Mankell’s work in search of a good laugh. He’s best known as the author of…

Brotherly love

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Jane Harris’s novels often focus on the disenfranchised: a maid in The Observations, a woman reduced by spinsterhood in the…

Deep learning

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Given the brilliance of his career as a fiction-writer, it is easy to forget that J.M. Coetzee has a commensurate…

Harsh, but entertaining

23 September 2017 9:00 am

When millionaires become billionaires they become even greedier and more ruthless. At the highest level, Trumpian economics can be lethal.…

A game of cat-and-mouse

16 September 2017 9:00 am

All Involved, Ryan Gattis’s breakout novel about the LA riots of 1992, was an absolute blast. Ballsy, vivid and immersive,…

Madness in Manhattan

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Life has far more imagination than we do, says the epigraph from Truffaut that opens Salman Rushdie’s 12th novel —…

Looking back, losing bits

16 September 2017 9:00 am

As Roddy Doyle’s 12th novel begins, Victor Forde, a washed-up writer, has returned to the part of Dublin where he…

A blast from the past

9 September 2017 9:00 am

If you had to choose one book that both typified spy fiction and celebrated what the genre was capable of…

Return to the lost city

26 August 2017 9:00 am

During a press interview in Bombay about his latest book, the author-narrator of Friend of My Youth feels ‘a surge…

Rumbles in the jungle

26 August 2017 9:00 am

A CIA agent, a naive young filmmaker, a dilettante heir and a lost Mayan temple form the basis of Ned…

A clash of creeds

12 August 2017 9:00 am

This is a very modern novel. Terrorist atrocity sits side by side with the familiar and the mundane. Where better…

The violence of poverty

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Neel Mukherjee has had a two-handed literary career, working as a reviewer of other people’s novels and writing his own.…

Above and below: From Robin Dalton’s My Relations: ‘My second cousin, Penelope Wood, is an artist, or at least hopes to be one. She is only 16, but she has done some beautiful little paintings. I have one hanging in my room now. It is a landscape and is one she did when only 12 years old’

When mother killed the plumber — and Nellie Melba came round to sing

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Here’s a pair of little books — one even littler than the other — by Robin Dalton (née Eakin), a…

A Christmas parable from the Spectator’s business editor

12 December 2015 9:00 am

  I thought you might enjoy a little parable for Christmas, so here goes… The boardroom clock said twelve minutes…

Ian Rankin’s diary: Paris, ignoring Twitter and understanding evil

21 November 2015 9:00 am

After ten days away, I spent last Friday at home alone, catching up on washing, shopping for cat food, answering…

Umberto Eco really tries our patience

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Colonna, the protagonist of Umberto Eco’s latest novel, is the first to admit he is a loser. A middle-aged literary…

‘I was facing truths I didn’t particularly want to look at’: Michael Moorcock interview

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Cult novelist Michael Moorcock on fantasy, his father, and the London he loved and lost