Race to the finish

October 14, 2019 11:39 am

Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race by Thomas Chatterton Williams reviewed

Frank Lloyd Wright

Building a legend

October 11, 2019 12:18 pm

Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson reviewed


Three remarkable sisters at the heart of 20th-century Chinese politics

October 10, 2019 12:14 pm

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung Chang reviewed

patti smith

Patti Smith had a bad year in 2016

October 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith reviewed


Anyone interested in Gilgamesh will get something out of this ‘little essay’

October 10, 2019 9:56 am

Gilgamesh: The Life of a Poem by Michael Schmidt reviewed

david cameron

As Lyra grows up, Philip Pullman’s materials grow darker

October 4, 2019 8:22 pm

The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, Volume 2) by Philip Pullman reviewed

ian mcewan

Ian McEwan’s anti-Brexit satire is a damp squib

October 4, 2019 8:10 pm

The Cockroach by Ian McEwan reviewed


Visiting the world’s masterpieces is a quixotic undertaking

October 4, 2019 5:07 pm

The Pursuit of Art: Travels, Encounters and Revelations by Martin Gayford reviewed


A ménage à trois that worked: Ivan Turgenev and the Viardots

October 4, 2019 4:46 pm

The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture by Orlando Figes reviewed

ann patchett

Ann Patchett’s new novel is even better on second reading

October 4, 2019 4:22 pm

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett reviewed

gladwell strangers

Is the judiciary really so bad at judging character?

October 4, 2019 4:13 pm

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell reviewed


Man’s first instinct has always been to return to the sea

October 3, 2019 2:36 pm

The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans and The Outlaw Ocean: Crime and Survival in the Last Untamed Frontier reviewed

east india

Bad company

October 1, 2019 2:15 pm

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple reviewed

debbie harry blondie

Blondie ambition

September 30, 2019 11:51 am

Face It by Debbie Harry reviewed


Gales and Gaels — sailing solo from Cornwall to the Summer Isles

September 26, 2019 7:54 am

The Summer Isles: A Voyage of the Imagination by Philip Marsden reviewed

tove ditlevsen

In praise of Tove Ditlevsen — the greatest Danish writer you’ve never heard of

September 26, 2019 7:29 am

The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood, Youth, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen reviewed


Why do we write dedications in books?

September 26, 2019 6:04 am

These ghostly remnants of love, loss and friendship tell stories of their own


A New York state of mind

September 22, 2019 12:59 pm

Doxology by Nell Zink reviewed

susan sontag

No one held Susan Sontag in higher esteem than Susan Sontag

September 22, 2019 12:37 pm

Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser reviewed

margaret atwood gilead testaments

Welcome back to Gilead: Margaret Atwood’s triumphant reclaiming of her work

September 19, 2019 3:06 pm

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood reviewed


Two faces of a single calamity: how the war against inequality backfired dramatically

September 19, 2019 2:53 pm

The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite by Daniel Markovitz reviewed


The tsunami of stuff we have and want is based on culture and economics

September 19, 2019 1:21 pm

Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need by Bruce Hood reviewed


Rushdie at his best

September 19, 2019 12:50 pm

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie reviewed


The best of journeys: Justin Marozzi’s monumental trek through the history of the Muslim world

September 19, 2019 12:08 pm

Islamic Empires: Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization by Justin Marozzi reviewed