Books

Queer Teen Craze

30 January 2021 9:00 am

It is remarkable how quickly the cause of transgenderism has moved from being a strange object at the back of…

Will the next generation wonder what the fuss over Brexit was about?

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Robert Tombs’s new book is not long: 165 pages of argument, unadorned by maps or images. But brevity is good,…

The art of the short story: what we can learn from the Russians

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Viv Groskop takes a masterclass in the art of the short story

God’s many mansions: a guide to the world’s greatest churches

23 January 2021 9:00 am

The surroundings of the Crimea Memorial Church in Istanbul are ‘little better than a dump’, wrote the British embassy chaplain…

The Generic Asian Man: Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu, reviewed

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Of the handful of things we can establish about Willis Wu, the protagonist of Charles Yu’s second novel, the most…

On the cowboy’s trail: Powder Smoke, by Andrew Martin, reviewed

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Detective Inspector Jim Stringer is back. This is a York novel, or rather a Yorkshire crime novel. The LNER railway…

A burnt-out case: the many lives of Dr Anthony Clare

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Those who best remember Dr Anthony Clare (1942-2007) for his broadcasting are firmly reminded by this biography that we didn’t…

Cruelty and chaos in Karachi

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Karachi, Pakistan’s troubled heart, is known to cast a seductive spell over residents and visitors alike. In Karachi Vice, the…

An English 17th-century double portrait holds many clues to its meaning

23 January 2021 9:00 am

This is a big book about a minor painting — a double portrait of John Bankes, aged about 16 (the…

There’s nothing a white person can do about racism, says Dr Kehinde Andrews

23 January 2021 9:00 am

After the death of George Floyd last year, and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests around the world, racism is…

The programme of art plunder initiated by Hermann Göring continued long after the war’s end

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Making one’s fortune in Occupied Paris was largely a matter of knowing the right people: in fact, the further to…

Xi’s Big Red Book

16 January 2021 9:00 am

As well as micromanaging the lives of 1.4 billion Chinese, Xi Jinping is becoming a prolific author. His latest book,…

Scenes from an open marriage: Luster, by Raven Leilani, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

One of Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2020, Raven Leilani’s debut comes acclaimed by a literary Who’s Who that includes…

Exotic and endangered: Madagascar in peril

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Madagascar. There are so many delightful incongruities about the island. Despite being off the coast of Africa, because of the…

The burden of guilt: The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, by Richard Flanagan, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Thanks to the Booker Prize, Richard Flanagan is probably the only Tasmanian novelist British readers are likely to have heard…

House of horrors: Girl A, by Abigail Dean, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

If the last quarter of 2020 saw a glut of novels published, of which there were winners (Richard Osman) and…

The plight of the evacuee: Asylum Road, by Olivia Sudjic, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Olivia Sudjic’s second novel, Asylum Road, is a smart and sensitively layered story that’s told through niggling memories, unspoken thoughts,…

Whitewashing Bismarck just won’t wash

16 January 2021 9:00 am

The reviewer’s first duty is to declare any skin he may have in the game, so here goes: I write…

‘Mother Volga’ has always been Russia’s lifeblood

16 January 2021 9:00 am

‘Without this river the Russians could not live,’ remarked Robert Bremner in his work, Excursions in the Interior of Russia.…

Paradise regained: how the world’s wastelands are regenerating

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Ignoring the padlocked gate, my six-year-old son Nicholas and I climbed through a break in the metal fence and pushed…

‘There were no rules then’: Dana Gillespie’s 1960s childhood

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Although I can understand why Dana Gillespie might choose to call her memoir after her most famous album, for the…

Born out of suffering: the inspiration of Dostoevsky’s great novels

16 January 2021 9:00 am

A death sentence, prison in Siberia, and chronic epilepsy. The death of his young children, a gambling addiction, and possible…

Murder most casual: why Patricia Highsmith’s thrillers are so chilling

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Patricia Highsmith’s life was filled with more eccentric, disturbing brilliance than most readers can normally handle; and so the chief…

Family secrets: Life Sentences, by Billy O’Callaghan, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Despite innovative work by younger writers, there remains a prominent strain in Irish literature of what we might call the…

The problem with pills: The Octopus Man, by Jasper Gibson, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Having a breakdown? Try this pill, or that — or these? Built on the 1950s myth of a chemical imbalance…