sat 22/02/2020

book reviews and features

Book extract: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

theartsdesk

She had clutched the envelope given by the shy messenger, but she had never opened it.

The Intended.

True. The message from the director was for her.

A joke between...

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Book extract: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

theartsdesk

At first, what puts Magsalin off at the pastry shop is Chiara’s voice. It is nasal, and her monotone, a bored flatness, even in the most interesting parts, keeps Magsalin, or the pastry shop...

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Zadie Smith: Grand Union review – a roller coaster collection

Sarah Collins

“Adorable cock, nothing too dramatic, suitable for many situations,” remarks Monica on the penis of her university boyfriend. She is the candid protagonist of ‘Sentimental Education’, the second...

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Joanna Cannon: Breaking and Mending review - can you feel too much?

Marina Vaizey

Joanna Cannon was a wild card. She left school at 15 with one O-level and after various jobs, including working as a barmaid, she was given a place at...

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Ben Lerner: The Topeka School review - lessons to be learned

Stephanie Sy-Quia

The Topeka School begins with a female listener getting bored of hearing her boyfriend talk. Which did not bode well, as the perspective’s was the boyfriend, and I am a...

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William Feaver: The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth 1922-1968 review - a testament of friendship

Florence Hallett

Lucian Freud was never an entirely willing subject, but his remark to William Feaver that his...

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Al Alvarez: 'If I drop dead this minute, I’ve had a ter­rific time'

Jasper Rees

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of eccentrics, but some take their patriotic duties more seriously than others. Al Alvarez –...

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Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey: She Said review – better than the movies

Stephanie Sy-Quia

October 5th in the United States is a day for righteous rage. In 2016 it marked the release of the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape in which Donald Trump made his now-infamous “grab them...

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10 Questions for author Martin Gayford

Marina Vaizey

Over the past four decades Martin Gayford, The Spectator’s art critic, has travelled the world, been published in an amazing range of print and digital publications and written more than...

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Martin Gayford: The Pursuit of Art review - devotion, distilled

Marina Vaizey

This is a book about experiences that go beyond reading about art. Martin Gayford’s 20 short essays about press trips and self-motivated travel concern meetings – in the flesh, in real time and...

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