In The Critics this week

D J Taylor on the art of the rock lyric, Ryan Gilbey on Tom Cruise and Tom McCarthy on the postwar E

In this week's Critic at Large essay, D J Taylor pays tribute to some of the greatest practitioners of the rock lyric, including Howard Devoto, Mark E Smith and Cathal Coughlan. In a companion piece, Jude Rogers sticks for up for a younger generation of lyricists -- from Joanna Newsom's nature poetry to the comic demotic of Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner.

Elsewhere, Ryan Gilbey reviews Knight and Day, the new Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz vehicle, and wonders whether Cruise is committing career suicide. Rachel Cooke is bemused by the BBC's new high-concept drama The Deep, Antonia Quirke listens to a Stephen Sondheim Prom, Fisun Güner examines the work of the photographic pioneer Camille Silvy and Will Self dines at the Stockpot with Nicholas Lezard.

In Books, Ziauddin Sardar is unpersuaded by Tariq Ramadan's new plea for pluralism. Stuart Evers interviews Tom McCarthy about his new novel (which will be reviewed in the next issue of the NS) and the state of British fiction, Jonathan Derbyshire is impressed by James Robertson's state-of-Scotland novel, And the Land Lay Still, Ruth Sunderland considers some remedies for banking failure, Colin MacCabe remembers a friend and former colleague, the critic Tony Tanner, and Sarah Churchwell reviews Francine Prose's exploration of the "afterlife" of Anne Frank's diary.

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SRSLY #83: The Awards Special 2017

On the pop culture podcast this week: all the action from the Oscars, plus our own personal awards.

This is SRSLY, the pop culture podcast from the New Statesman. Here, you can find links to all the things we talk about in the show as well as a bit more detail about who we are and where else you can find us online.

Listen using the player below. . .

. . .or subscribe in iTunes. We’re also on StitcherRSS and SoundCloud – but if you use a podcast app that we’re not appearing in, let us know.

SRSLY is hosted by Caroline Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz, the NS’s assistant editor and editorial assistant. We’re on Twitter as @c_crampton and @annaleszkie, where between us we post a heady mixture of Serious Journalism, excellent gifs and regularly ask questions J K Rowling needs to answer.

The Links

Get on the waiting list for our Harry Potter quiz here and take part in our survey here.

Anna's report on the Oscars.

Our episodes about Oscar-nominated films La La Land, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Lion and Jackie.

For next time:

Caroline is watching MTV’s Sweet/Vicious.

If you’d like to talk to us about the podcast or make a suggestion for something we should read or cover, you can email srslypod[at]

You can also find us on Twitter @srslypod, or send us your thoughts on tumblr here. If you like the podcast, we’d love you to leave a review on iTunes - this helps other people come across it.

We love reading out your emails. If you have thoughts you want to share on anything we’ve discussed, or questions you want to ask us, please email us on srslypod[at], or @ us on Twitter @srslypod, or get in touch via tumblr here. We also have Facebook now.

Our theme music is “Guatemala - Panama March” (by Heftone Banjo Orchestra), licensed under Creative Commons. 

See you next week!

PS If you missed #81, check it out here.