In the New Statesman this week: Autumn Fiction Special
By New Statesman - 28 August 17:08

This week’s New Statesman kicks off a seminal publishing season with reviews of new novels by the biggest names in British literature.

SS officers including former Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (second from left) relax at Solahütte, a resort near the concentration camp, 1944. Photo: courtesy US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Too much information: how scientists and historians captured the brains of Amis and McEwan
By Leo Robson - 28 August 16:22

Novels by both authors seems to be creaking under the burden of researched fact and rehearsed message, but there was a time when their impulses flowed in the opposite direction.

Dentist.
Banal retentive: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
By Philip Maughan - 28 August 15:30

In his new, Booker-longlisted novel, Joshua Ferris retains his title as the poet of the modern workplace, but his invented religion, Ulmism, proves to be a pretty dry excuse for a quest.

Larkin and his close companion Monica Jones at John Betjeman’s funeral, 1984. Photo: Getty
A life more ordinary: salvaging Philip Larkin’s reputation
By Erica Wagner - 28 August 10:04

A painstakingly diligent new biography leaves Erica Wagner feeling relieved that the poet’s pornography collection is “almost entirely lost”.

Crash and burn: Colin Myler, last editor of the News of the World, closes the paper in 2011. Photo: Tom Stoddart/Getty
Other people’s voicemail: how phone-hacking became the news
By Peter Jukes - 26 August 12:29

The author and screenwriter Peter Jukes reviews two new exposés on the News of the World scandal. 

Temps perdu: a 1900s Paris street scene. Photo: Getty
Bouquets and billets-doux: letters from Proust to his neighbour
By Jane Shilling - 26 August 12:07

Propped against a multitude of pillows in his dark bedroom, Proust maintained his connections with the outside world through a blizzard of letters.

Song
By Emily Berry - 22 August 12:16

A new poem by Emily Berry. 

It's only a movie: horror films may claim cultural relevance but their main appeal is shock or terror
Blood money: how the market affects what horror makes it to Hollywood
By Yo Zushi - 22 August 12:13

Recent torture pornographers such as Eli Roth arguably have aligned themselves with 1970s American horror auteurs not only to legitimise their work but to cash in on their rebel credibility.

Let us prey: a 1955 image of a hawk catching a rabbit in the snow. Photo: Getty
Raptor enrapture: the story of a life saved by falconry
By Philip Hoare - 22 August 12:04

The sudden death of a woman’s father propels her into buying and training a goshawk – but then she starts to worry about her own identity. 

Hocus pocus: props on the Harry Potter set at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London. Photo: Gettty
Magic effect: how Harry Potter has influenced the political values of the Millennial generation
By Anthony Gierzynski - 19 August 10:56

Reading the books correlated with higher political tolerance, less predisposition to authoritarianism, greater support for equality, and greater opposition to the use of violence and torture.

Chinese relations with the Soviets shaped the communist world during "de-Stalinisation", shaping too Kadare's period in Moscow
“A treacherous climate”: Ismail Kadare’s cold years in Moscow
By Robert Macquarie - 19 August 10:00

With a new translation of Twilight of the Eastern Gods, Ismail Kadare is finally receiving the recognition he deserves in the English-speaking world.

Get your geek on: crowds on the way into San Diego Comic-Con 2013. Photo: Getty
Where’s Wonder Woman? How comic book diversity has failed to translate to the big screen
By Karen Yossman - 18 August 16:38

With over 75 years of history, comics boast a multitude of inspirational female, black and even disabled characters. Superman is, at its heart, an immigrant tale, while X-Men is an allegory of the fight against fascism. 

A local train in Japan: Murakami's new novel concerns a malaise-filled Japanese railway engineer. Photo: Getty
Strange, stark and sentimental: Haruki Murakami’s winning fictional formula
By Randy Boyagoda - 18 August 15:07

Although it won’t finally rank among his most accomplished works Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will be happily consumed by his fervent readers.

Bill Clinton at a rally in 1996, the year he declared that “The era of big government is over”. Photo: Getty
Honey, I shrunk the government: a paean to the virtues of the small state
By George Eaton - 18 August 11:39

The authors argue that the west has no choice but to unfurl the banner of revolution again. The fiscal crisis and demographic changes have left treasuries creaking under the weight of debt. 

First World War Hero
By Danny Abse - 18 August 10:54

A new poem for the New Statesman by Danny Abse.

Pond life: a grey heron in a park in Ealing, west London. Photo: Getty
The silence of the larks: Britain’s mysterious disappearing birds
By Mark Cocker - 14 August 10:00

Britain’s avian population is the most watched in the world – but new studies show nature in retreat.

Ahead of the curve: Niterol Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro by Oscar Niemeyer. Photo: Getty
Erotic architecture: the sexual history of great buildings
By Jonathan Glancey - 14 August 10:00

From Nero’s decadent Golden House in Rome to Charles Fourier’s orgiastic French “courts of love”; public toilet glory holes to Eileen Gray’s sexy Mediterranean hideway. 

Unexpurgated! An early copy of Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover: Photo: Chris Drumm/Flickr
Lady Chatterley’s lawyer: Jeremy Hutchinson interviewed
By Antonia Quirke - 13 August 12:28

Once married to the actress Peggy Ashcroft, Hutchinson was known be a dashing, lyrical figure liable to quote poetry. 

Clockwise from top left: Gracie Fields visits the factory where Ali Smith's father Donald Smith worked before signing up; Smith's mother Ann in the WAAF; Donald in RN uniform; Smith's grandfather in front of WWI shaving tent
Listen with Father: a personal story by Ali Smith
By Ali Smith - 05 August 15:52

War and the sound of our ancestral voices. 

Life of a ladies' man: Leonard Cohen. Photo: Eric Mulet/ Agence Vu
Stuart Maconie on Leonard Cohen: why I like the man more than the musician
By Stuart Maconie - 05 August 10:00

Leil Leibovitz’s elegant fan letter casts its net far wider than the usual rock biog. You will find as much here on the Talmud as on the NME and more about the Yom Kippur war than Glastonbury.

A tawaki or rainforest penguin. Photo: Getty
Two new poems by Clive James
By Clive James - 05 August 10:00

The author, critic and broadcaster writes two new poems exclusively for the New Statesman.

Midnight in Paris: Le Moulin de la Galette by Picasso (1900)
Painting the town rouge: Picasso and Matisse in Paris
By Michael Prodger - 04 August 12:43

Michael Prodger reviews Sue Roe’s new book, which examines the decade between 1900 and 1910 that Montmartre rose to its rickety peak – home to every avant-garde artist of significance.

Privet hedges: one of Swift's stories, "Ajax" is concerned with fear and conformity in the English suburbs. Photo: Getty
Watching the English: Erica Wagner on Graham Swift
By Erica Wagner - 04 August 11:28

A timely collection of short stories from Swift, an author who has always held England’s landscape and England’s nature – in both senses of the word – close to his heart. 

Strong Man by Helen Simpson
By Helen Simpson - 01 August 16:20

Exclusive new fiction for the New Statesman from a master of short-story writing.

A new cartoon by Ralph Steadman, a joint commission by 14-18 Now and the Cartoon Museum  to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Poem: “Peace” by Robert Graves
By Robert Graves - 01 August 15:35

Plus a new cartoon by Ralph Steadman to mark the centenary of the First World War. 

Dylan Thomas. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty. Tinting by Dan Murrell
Myth busting: Rowan Williams on Dylan Thomas
By Rowan Williams - 01 August 15:23

The former Archbishop of Canterbury and lead NS book reviewer discusses a new biography of the Welsh poet and a new edition of his short stories. 

Geoff Dyer: “There should be an annual festival devoted to me”
By Philip Maughan - 31 July 11:00

Geoff Dyer likes to take down “dim-witted academics”. So what happened when he turned up at a conference on . . . Geoff Dyer?

Seduced by herself: Caitlin Moran. Photo: Gettty
A hasty rehash: Frances Wilson on Caitlin Moran’s new novel
By Frances Wilson - 31 July 10:39

Those expecting a rabble-rousing feminist anthem will be disappointed: the only F-words are fucking and fags, and Moran has nothing whatsoever to say about girls or how to build them.

Reviews round-up | 30 August
By New Statesman - 30 July 15:03

The critics' verdicts on Ahamed Liaquat, Kerry Hudson and Margot Asquith.

Ghost story: Hillary Clinton at a book signing. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Mark Lawson on the ghostwriter who popularised the misery memoir
By Mark Lawson - 30 July 10:30

Plus “Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision” at the National Portrait Gallery.

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