tue 17/09/2019

book reviews and features

Sunday Book: Michel Houellebecq - Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013

Boyd Tonkin

The American poet-critic Randall Jarrell once entitled a collection of essays A Sad Heart at the Supermarket. He might have enjoyed Michel Houellebecq’s poem “Hypermarket - November”. Its...

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Sunday Book: Nadeem Aslam - The Golden Legend

Matthew Wright

Elegant literary romance and contemporary jihadism are unlikely bedfellows. Yet British-Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam has now written a third novel combining the two. While The...

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Richard Adams: 'If I'd known how well I could write I’d have started earlier'

Jasper Rees

Richard Adams, who has died at the age of 96, was the high priest of anthropomorphism. Much his most famous and loved novel is his first, Watership Down, published when he...

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Christmas Book: When Broadway Went to Hollywood

David Nice

Tinseltown's relationship to its more sophisticated, older New York brother is analogous to Ethan Mordden's engagement by Oxford University Press. The presentation is a sober, if slim, academic...

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Sunday Book: Treasure Palaces - Great Writers Visit Great Museums

Florence Hallett

The modern experience of visiting museums is so far from the hushed contemplation envisaged by our Victorian forebears that the very idea is sufficient to induce a rosy glow of nostalgia, as...

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Sunday Book: Ruth Franklin - Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

Markie Robson-Scott

When asked about her most famous short story, "The Lottery", Shirley Jackson said, “I hate it. I’ve lived with that thing 15 years. Nobody will ever let me forget it.” Sixty-eight years later, it’...

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Shirley Jackson: A Rising Star at 100

Laurence Jackso

My mother has been rediscovered, if she ever went away. She is suddenly a rising star, 51 years after her early death. Interest in Shirley Jackson’s novels and stories has blossomed significantly...

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Sunday Book: Günter Grass - Of All That Ends

Boyd Tonkin

In this, his final book, the late German author and Nobel literature laureate tells us that he used to disgust his children with offal-heavy dishes rooted in the peasant fare of his forebears. As...

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Carols From King's: How a tradition was made

alexandra Coghlan

For the first decade of its life, King’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols remained a local phenomenon, a “gift to the City of Cambridge”. But that all changed in 1928 with the first BBC...

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Sunday Book: Lynne Truss - The Lunar Cats

Matthew Wright

Once they’ve died nine times, Lynne Truss’s evil talking cats become immortal. Whether Truss has such ambitions for the literary lifespan of her curiously addictive feline thrillers,...

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