The trials and tribulations of getting a plumber

15 June 2024 9:00 am

‘Please, I’ll do anything,’ I told the plumber. ‘I’ll give you all the money I have if you just come…

Why am I so unlucky in love?

8 June 2024 9:00 am

One of my exes is trying to get me arrested. I discovered this when I received an email from the…

I’m setting up a ‘climate crisis hub’

1 June 2024 9:00 am

‘We thought the house would make the most fantastic centre for climate action,’ I heard myself telling the cat rescue…

The struggle to book my wedding in Ireland

27 April 2024 9:00 am

‘How does anyone young and stupid manage to get married?’ I kept shouting at the builder boyfriend as I pummelled…

A mother-daughter love story

17 February 2024 9:00 am

In her latest memoir, Leslie Jamison describes her pregnancy, experience of childbirth and devotion to her baby, returning repeatedly to the dilemmas of a working mother

No one could match Tess, to Thomas Hardy’s dismay

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Hardy’s 38-year marriage to Emma Gifford was notoriously acrimonious; but even his much younger second wife, Florence, never seemed to measure up to his fictional heroines

A strong whiff of goodbyes: The Pole and Other Stories, by J.M. Coetzee, reviewed

9 December 2023 9:00 am

‘The cogs are seizing up, the lights are going out.’ As Elizabeth Costello clears her desk in this collection of stories, we feel that Coetzee may be doing the same

How to date a widower

25 November 2023 9:00 am

‘We are stuck like chicken feathers to tar’: Elizabeth Taylor’s description of the fabled romance

21 October 2023 9:00 am

The Burton-Taylor relationship was either one of the greatest love stories of all time or a suicide pact carried out in relentless slow motion

Never the doctor, always the nurse: the fate of women in post-war Britain

30 September 2023 9:00 am

For decades, undereducated girls were thwarted before they even started in the workplace, living in the slipstream of men and drip-fed with a sense of their own uselessness

A born storyteller

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Instead of swashbuckling, we get the Parisian art world, trout-fishing, unhappy couples and surrogate parenting – though the 20 stories for children are full of adventure

A whale of a problem

8 July 2023 9:00 am

Restoring the painting ‘View of Scheveningen Sands’, an art conservationist uncovers a vital detail, leading her to regret the pact she once made with her husband

The lonely passions of Emily Hale and Mary Trevelyan

8 October 2022 9:00 am

Tom Williams describes how two women’s hopes of marrying T.S. Eliot came to nothing

Richard E. Grant’s tribute to his wife leaves us shattered for his loss

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Richard E. Grant pulls off a feat here. The title is twee but the content isn’t. With unselfpitying dash the…

Ian McEwan’s capacity for reinvention is astonishing

10 September 2022 9:00 am

Ian McEwan’s latest novel is unusually long and autobiographical. It’s surprising in other ways, too, says Claire Lowdon

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.…

Anxiety is killing parenthood

7 April 2022 10:40 pm

Britain is on a slow descent to oblivion. Scotland is even closer to the abyss, with a birth rate of…

Howard Jacobson superbly captures the terrible cost of becoming a writer

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Howard Jacobson, who turns 80 this year, published his first novel aged 40. Since then he has produced roughly a…

Reassess every relationship you’ve ever had before it’s too late

16 October 2021 9:00 am

‘Reading is a celebration of the mystery of ourselves,’ according to Elizabeth Strout, who writes to help readers understand themselves…

The life of an ambassador’s wife

25 September 2021 9:00 am

‘One day,’ she writes, ‘we had the Minister for Northern Ireland for the night. He arrived wearing a kilt, which…

They weren’t all that pious in the good old days

31 July 2021 9:00 am

You need to be wary of being too flattering about English churches. As John Betjeman said: ‘Be careful before you…

The young bride’s tale: China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota, reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Sunjeev Sahota’s novels present an unvarnished image of British Asian lives. Ours Are the Streets chronicles a suicide bomber’s radicalisation,…

How to have an affair

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Gstaad After six-and-a-half months apart, I had no trouble recognising my wife. Out she came on to the driveway to…

Forget race or class, marriage is the big social divide

24 June 2021 3:28 am

The latest spark to ignite the culture wars is a report from the parliamentary education committee on the underachievement of…