Margaret Atwood, photographed by Kate Peters at the Royal Over-Seas League Club, London in October
Margaret Atwood: “Ooooh! Are we going to talk about dying?”
By Erica Wagner - 31 October 14:00

The Canadian author reflects on ageing, generational inequality, reworking Shakespeare and writing stories that no one will read for a century.

Red terror: Stalin combined "sociopathic tendencies and exceptional diligence and resolve". Getty Images
Ordinary boy to arch-dictator: Stalin and the power of absolute conviction
By Lucy Hughes-Hallett - 31 October 14:00

Stalin emerges from Stephen Kotkin’s book as that most frightening of figures – a man of absolute conviction.

Why Ayn Rand is still relevant (and dangerous)
By Darryl Cunningham - 31 October 10:38

Hers is the spirit of the age: the age of selfishness. An age of greed, financial crime, and indifference to the poor, sick, and disabled.

Messing around: Captain Beastlie in Lucy Coat's gloriously squalid story. Image: © Chris Mould 2014
It’s a kind of magic: the best children’s books for autumn
By Amanda Craig - 30 October 11:27

From Judith Kerr’s The Crocodile Under the Bed to a Psammead sequel, there are plenty of new titles to delight all ages this season, writes Amanda Craig. 

Ruthless, businesslike and pragmatic: detail of painting of Thomas Cromwell, c 1530. Photo: Getty
Behind the Mantel: in search of the real Thomas Cromwell
By Suzannah Lipscomb - 30 October 9:00

To capitalise on the success of Wolf Hall or perhaps to offer an accurate historical account of Cromwell, there have been four recent or reissued biographies of Henry VIII’s first minister. Borman’s narrative adds a fifth.

Post-crash solutions: Ford's latest crash test technology, March 2014. Photo: Getty
Crash test dummies: a call for bold economic reform
By Felix Martin - 30 October 9:00

When it comes to solutions to our post-crisis problems, Martin Wolf argues, the first step is to jettison the straitjacket of mainstream economics – and this he proceeds to do.

Power games: Obama addresses US troops in Kabul, May 2014. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Altered states: Henry Kissinger’s scathing take-down of Obama
By John Bew - 30 October 9:00

Under the surface of World Order is a searing critique of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. While Obama has embraced the label of “realist”, this is not a realism that Kissinger recognises.

More dynamite: Naomi Klein photographed for the New Statesman, October 2014. Photo: Kalpesh Lathigra
Naomi Klein: “I view free-market ideology as a cover story for greed”
By Sophie McBain - 24 October 17:39

The Canadian author and social activist on parenthood, people power and why climate change could be the ultimate opportunity for the left.

Lovecraft peopled his mythical realms with slippery, palpitating cretaures to escape a worse prospect – a human world. Illustration by Sean Phillips
Weird realism: John Gray on the moral universe of H P Lovecraft
By John Gray - 24 October 17:01

The weird realism that runs through Lovecraft’s writings undermines any belief system – religious or humanist – in which the human mind is the centre of the universe.

Photo: James Cridland/Flickr
The Berries
By Kathleen Jamie - 24 October 11:55

A new poem by Kathleen Jamie. 

Only in dreams: a panel from Charles Burns's dazzling graphic novel Sugar Skull
Fevers and mirrors: the surreal graphic novels of Charles Burns
By Neel Mukherjee - 24 October 11:44

Green, one-eyed men, a chubby, disfigured dwarf, writhing worms with humanoid faces, aborted foetuses and vast, white eggs with red jigsaw patterns on them.

"Lonely House, Fetherd". Photo: Anna & Michal/Flickr
Sweet nothings: Colm Tóibín’s study of domestic grief
By Frances Wilson - 24 October 11:42

Nora Webster is the tale of a woman inside a house. It’s a small house in a small town in Ireland, in the late 1960s and Nora, recently widowed, lives here with her two teenage sons and her daughters who, like the house, are semi-detached.

Children play on a Carsten Holler playground installation at Frieze Art Fair, 14 October. Photo: Getty
Primary politics: parenting advice from Toby Young and Michael Rosen
By Melissa Benn - 23 October 16:58

Two publications ostensibly designed to provide reassurance and wisdom to parents of primary-age children and perhaps to tap in to the ever-growing “pushy parenting” market.

Inside a library. Photo: Getty
The joy of dictionaries
By Mark Forsyth - 23 October 14:16

To see how the world has changed, look no further than the dictionary.

Growing old disgracefully: a deconstruction of death
By Henry Marsh - 23 October 11:49

Atul Gawande argues that medicine has skewed our attitude to mortality. The neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reviews.

Attention, #NaNoWriMo Fans: No One Cares How Your F***ing Novel Is Going
By Hayley Campbell - 21 October 15:03

Watching a person write is one of the most boring things in the world. Please don’t inflict your process on us.

Rachel Cusk at her home in Brighton. Portrait by Harry Watts
How to disappear completely: the novel as an exercise in self-scrutiny
By Leo Robson - 16 October 17:01

On self and voice in new novels by Rachel Cusk and Will Eaves.

Mistress of image: Debbie Harry, photographed on a trip to Britain by Chris Stein, c.1982
Picture this: the love affair between rockers and the lens
By James Medd - 16 October 10:00

From Deborah Harry to Ed Sheeran, four visual journeys through the lives of pop stars. 

Top line: East Coast is Britain's best-run railway company. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty
Leviathan’s revenge: how Britain belongs to someone else
By Owen Jones - 16 October 10:00

James Meek’s superb new book exposes the perversities, hypocrisies and failures of privatisation.

Dog day afternoon: the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup polo final at Cowdray Park, West Sussex. Photo: Jocelyn Bain Hogg/VII
Watching the Englishman: Kate Fox on the peculiar rituals of the privileged
By Kate Fox - 16 October 10:00

England’s upper-middle class pretend that class no longer matters. But try to infiltrate the tribe and you’ll see how strict the rules are, says anthropologist Kate Fox. 

Quids in: Jeff Koons poses for cameras at a preview for his retrospective at the Whitney in New York. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Pop goes the easel: sharp encounters with contemporary artists
By Martin Gayford - 16 October 10:00

Are artists solitary individuals, or do they emerge from a workshop, family or other communities? In other words, are all works of art collective creations? Is an artist obliged to engage with politics or is it enough just to make good stuff?

Queen Viv: Westwood on the catwalk after her autumn/winter 2014/15 womenswear show at Paris Fashion Week in March. Photo: Getty
Punk, seams and SEX: the life and fashion of Vivienne Westwood
By Jane Shilling - 16 October 10:00

Jane Shilling reviews a new autobiography of the veteran British fashion designer and punk icon.

Ancient and modern: solstice revellers celebrate sunrise at Stonehenge in June. Photo: Getty
Ancient watchfulness: searching for the spirit of place
By Erica Wagner - 16 October 10:00

Marsden examines the notion that there are places on the earth which chime mysteriously with the human spirit, which drew our ancestors to them just as we are drawn there.

Everything is illuminated: Marilynne Robinson. Photo: Danny Wilcox Frazier/Redux/Eyevine
Living the good life: Rowan Williams on Marilynne Robinson
By Rowan Williams - 16 October 10:00

Robinson’s trilogy set in small-town Christian America is more than great fiction – it is a political and ethical project. 

An Iranian woman reads a copy of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” at a bookshop in Tehran. Photo: Getty
Read whatever the hell you want: why we need a new way of talking about young adult literature
By Elizabeth Minkel - 14 October 17:25

Should adults be reading books supposedly aimed at children and teenagers? According to the literary establishment in 2014, this is a question fraught with difficulty. But is it really as hard as all that?

Why nobody knows what to think about Patrick Modiano winning the Nobel Prize for Literature
By Leo Robson - 13 October 16:51

The French author has never been internationally popular, but he is nevertheless widely studied. Leo Robson looks at the reaction to his Nobel win, and what this tells us about the way his work is perceived.

Richard Dawkins. Photo: Getty
Richard Dawkins doesn’t deserve this fellow atheist’s smears
By Jerry A Coyne - 10 October 10:50

John Gray should attack his ideas, not his character.

Unbuttoned: Andrew Marr, novelist. Photo: Jeff Mitchell/Getty
Witty and wicked: Andrew Marr’s revealing political thriller
By Adam Boulton - 09 October 10:00

What makes Head of State worth reading is that it is Marr unbuttoned. The cloak of fiction allows him to express his view of his world in the way he used to when chatting to his fellow hacks, waiting to go live from Downing Street.

Photo: Leon Harris/Eyevine
Karl Miller’s grand style: John Sutherland remembers the late, great editor and academic
By John Sutherland - 09 October 10:00

Karl Miller was less a literary editor and more a conductor. He wielded his baton with the authority of a maestro. 

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