wed 06/07/2022

book reviews and features

Samantha Walton: Everybody Needs Beauty review - the well of the world

Nell Whittaker

In the opening poem of Samantha Walton's 2018 collection, Self Heal, the speaker is on the tube, that evergreen metaphor of capital's specific barrelling momentum. The tube "will...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

Daniel Baksi

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the ...

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Adam Mars-Jones: Batlava Lake review - pride and prejudice in the Kosovo War

Zehra Kazmi

For a slim book of some 100 pages, Batlava Lake by Adam Mars-Jones is deceptively meandering. The novella is narrated by Barry Ashton, an engineer attached to the British Army troops...

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Danielle Evans: The Office of Historical Corrections review - what happens when history comes knocking

Daniel Lewis

There’s something refreshing about fiction you can easily trace back to the question what if...

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Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

Boyd Tonkin

Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife Emmy, Eberhard had...

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Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

Gaby Frost

To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the...

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Extract: David Lan's As If By Chance

David Lan

In June 2001 the London Festival of International Theatre brought Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Alive from ...

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Elinor Cleghorn: Unwell Women review – misunderstanding and misdiagnosis

Lydia Bunt

I’m one of the women in the pages of Elinor Cleghorn’s new history of the female body, Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World. I’ve dealt with strange...

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Ed Miliband: Go Big - How to Fix Our World review - reasons to hope

Liz Thomson

Almost alone among my friends, I liked and admired Ed Miliband, renewing my on-off relationship with the Labour...

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Nichola Raihani: The Social Instinct review - the habits of co-operation

Jon Turney

An army on the move must be as disturbing as it is, on occasion, inspiring. In E.L. Doctorow’s startlingly good civil war novel The March, General Sherman’s column proceeds inexorably...

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theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival 2022 - on Cloud Nine f...

Last year’s relatively slimline East Neuk Festival felt like a feast in time of plague. This July everything was back to full strength in numerous...

Jessie Burton: The House of Fortune review - a muted, sensit...

A sequel is always a hard thing to write, especially if the book that precedes it is a bestseller, adapted for television and read by more than a...

Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World

The third album from Stockholm rowdies Viagra Boys doesn’t muck about with what they do, but it’s more persistently punkin’ than their last. There...

Mick Jagger: My Life as a Rolling Stone review, BBC Two - th...

At the beginning of this film, Mick Jagger says: “What most...

Alcina, Glyndebourne review - Handel on the strand

Reviewing the Grange Festival production of Tamerlano the other day, I noted the difficulty...

Favour, Bush Theatre review - Ambreen Razia's punchy ne...

Where should Leila live — Ilford or Kent? It doesn’t sound like an earth-shattering decision for a 15-year-old to make, but the stakes...

Album: Laura Veirs - Found Light

The last minute of Found Light’s third track “Seaside Haiku” is defined by the repetition of a single phrase: “give but don’t give too...

Music Reissues Weekly: Ferkat Al Ard - Oghneya

Oghneya opens with the extraordinary “Matar Al Sabah.” Jazzy, with an overt Brazilian feel it gently swings and swoons....

The Making of Pinocchio, LIFT 2022, Battersea Arts Centre re...

Pinocchio is one of our most irreverent metamorphosis stories, and in this visually ingenious blend of...

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