More from Books

The least familiar stretches of Nile prove the most interesting

24 July 2021 9:00 am

It’s one of the most tantalising travel images in the world — a felucca floating along the Nile at sunset,…

Terence’s stamp: The Art of Living, by Stephen Bayley, reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Rumours reach me that the libel report for Stephen Bayley’s forthcoming biography of Terence Conran was longer than the book…

As circus gets serious, is all the fun of the fair lost?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

What’s so serious about a red nose? How should we analyse the ‘specific socio-historical relations’ and ‘aesthetic trends particular to…

Even psychiatrists don’t know how the drugs they prescribe work

24 July 2021 9:00 am

What is it like to go mad? Not so much developing depression or having a panic attack — which is…

The great awakening: Henry Shukman becomes a child of the universe

24 July 2021 9:00 am

For eight years I rented a small house in Oxford overlooking the canal. The landlord, a poet and novelist younger…

The man who made Manhattan: The Great Mistake, by Jonathan Lee, reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

What makes a city? The collective labour of millions packed into its history; the constant forgetting of incomers who arrive…

The young bride’s tale: China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota, reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Sunjeev Sahota’s novels present an unvarnished image of British Asian lives. Ours Are the Streets chronicles a suicide bomber’s radicalisation,…

Our need to get drunk in company may be innate

24 July 2021 9:00 am

It was once a favourite theory of optimistic drunkards that a suitably ‘moderate’ level of alcohol consumption provided covert health…

What’s a scribbled signature worth?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

In 2002 I was living in Berlin. One day my upstairs neighbour Peter told me he had just returned from…

The tragedy of Lebanon — from safe haven to bankruptcy

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Mountains are humanity’s most comforting topographical feature. Wherever you find them you will also find those who have flocked to…

The life cycle of the limpet teaches universal truths

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Adam Nicolson is one of our finest writers of non-fiction. He has range — from place and history to literature…

Germany’s post-war recovery was no economic miracle

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Lord Macaulay wrote that ‘during the century and a half which followed the Conquest there is, to speak strictly, no…

The power of the translator to break nations

17 July 2021 9:00 am

No one ever raised a statue to a translator, disgruntled adepts of that art sometimes complain. I beg to differ,…

She didn’t go quietly: Caroline Norton’s campaign for married women’s rights

17 July 2021 9:00 am

When Caroline Sheridan married George Chapple Norton in 1827 she ceased to exist. According to the legal status quo, as…

The man at the heart of punk: the late Pete Shelley recalls his Buzzcocks years

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Manchester, in the words of the artist Linder Sterling, is a ‘tiny little world’. Nearly three million people live in…

A matter of life or death: Should We Stay or Shall We Go, by Lionel Shriver, reviewed

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Leave or remain? That’s the question hanging like a cartoon sledgehammer over Lionel Shriver’s 17th novel. Although she makes merry…

Richard Dawkins delights in his own invective

17 July 2021 9:00 am

The late Derek Ratcliffe, arguably Britain’s greatest naturalist since Charles Darwin, once explained how he cultivated a technique for finding…

The cut-throat business of the secondhand book trade

10 July 2021 9:00 am

For almost as long as there have been books, there have been books about books — writers just love to…

Studies in vulnerability: A Shock, by Keith Ridgway, reviewed

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Keith Ridgway’s seventh book is a sultry, steamy shock of a novel, not least because nine years ago, despite the…

Liberate yourself from sexual repression the Wilhelm Reich way

10 July 2021 9:00 am

When she was 22, Olivia Laing had a sensual epiphany in Brighton. She’d been drawn into a herbalist’s massage parlour…

Experiences of Eton — and the success it rewards

10 July 2021 9:00 am

In the summer of 2019, the journalist Anita Sethi was on a train travelling across northern England when she was…

Abandoned by Paul Theroux: the diary of a sad ex-wife who sadly can’t write

10 July 2021 9:00 am

When I interviewed Paul Theroux 21 years ago at his home in Hawaii, there were already rumours that his ex-wife…

Salman Rushdie’s self-importance is entirely forgivable

10 July 2021 9:00 am

I have the habit, when reading a collection of essays, of not reading them in order. I’m pretty sure I’m…

Is Serena Williams’s fame as a cultural icon eclipsing her tennis?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Serena Williams is not exactly an elegant tennis player — her game is based overwhelmingly on raw power — but…

Life’s a bitch: Animal, by Lisa Taddeo, reviewed

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Lisa Taddeo’s debut Three Women was touted as groundbreaking. In reality it was a limp, occasionally overwritten account of the…