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.

Margot Asquith in 1924. The Brocks’ edited collection has reinvigorated Margot’s vitriolic comments.
Reviews round-up | 30 July
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.

Neil Armstrong in the lunar module, 1969. Photo: Getty
Neil Armstrong’s life: Searching for rocket man
By Erica Wagner - 25 July 12:59

Erica Wagner on a new biography of the space pioneer.

Beastings is set in the Lake District. Photo: Getty
Lakeland Gothic: Beastings by Benjamin Myers
By Tim Martin - 25 July 12:48

A grim chase narrative, set in the Lake District at the turn of the 20th century, in which two characters known as the Priest and the Poacher pursue a speechless runaway and her stolen baby across the unforgiving landscape.

A lesbian couple at Tokyo Pride. Photo: Getty
Lesbian by choice: Eleanor Margolis reviews Julie Bindel's Straight Expectations
By Eleanor Margolis - 25 July 12:43

What Does It Mean to Be Gay Today? asks Julie Bindel in the subtitle of her new book. For me, it means enduring endless dull and pukey nights out on the scene, says Eleanor Margolis.

A Nazi book-burning. Photo: Getty
Don’t read this book: A history of literary censorship
By Leo Robson - 25 July 12:35

Leo Robson reviews three new works concerned with banned literature.

A fan dressed as Captain America at the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Getty
Reluctant Goliath: how America became a superpower
By John Bew - 25 July 10:06

John Bew reviews The Deluge: the Great War and the Remaking of Global Order by Adam Tooze.

A military base. Photo: Getty
Dave Eggers, the world’s most earnest kidnapper, chains up his readers
By Claire Lowdon - 25 July 10:02

Claire Lowdon reviews Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers. 

Eleanor Catton (C), author of 'The Luminaries', with the Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Robert Macfarlane (R), chair of judges after she won the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction on October 15, 2013 in London, England. Photo: Getty Images
Judging the Man Booker Prize: how I read 145 novels in seven months
By Dinah Birch - 24 July 17:10

As the Man Booker Prize announces its longlist of nominations, a judge from the 2012 edition explains the task facing the panel that has to whittle more than a hundred novels down to a single winner.

Sonmi (Doona Bae) and Hae-Joo Chang (Jim Sturgess) in the film version of Cloud Atlas
The Great English Novel is dead. Long live the unruly, upstart fiction that’s flourishing online
By Laurie Penny - 24 July 10:00

The reason I’m so excited David Mitchell is writing on Twitter is that he’s one of the few authors who really understands how the medium, as well as the message, makes the story.

Mine craft.
This year’s Stoner? Introducing Breece D’J Pancake
By Philip Maughan - 21 July 12:00

The publisher who brought John Williams’s Stoner to Random House believes he has found its successor: a “hillbilly” from the US coal belt with a precious talent.

Irn-Broon: Gordon Brown at a Labour pro-Union event in Glasgow, 10 March. Photo: Getty
Let’s stay together: Gordon Brown’s My Scotland, Our Britain
By Kevin Maguire - 18 July 16:30

Brown is a difficult opponent for Alex Salmond’s nationalists to knock down. His continued popularity north of Hadrian’s Wall is a powerful threat to the Yes lobby. 

Why publishers should embrace the film world's enthusiasm for releasing a director's cut
By Andrew Ladd - 18 July 12:56

The film world is keen on releasing a director's cut, which differs from the final version of the movie; publishers should do the same with books.

Latest squeeze: James Fearnley of The Pogues performs in New York, March 2011. Photo: Getty
How my literary life became an ever-lengthening index of people to avoid
By Nicholas Lezard - 18 July 12:30

With the editors to avoid and the editors to endure, book publishers’ parties can be a minefield – thank heavens for the Pogues’ accordionist...

The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.
Jacques Lacan: inspiring and infuriating in equal measure
By Juliet Jacques - 17 July 15:22

A new biography explores the power dynamics of psychoanalysis.

Art of disorder: Rio de Janeiro, 2011. The country's fiction and music thrive on cultural cannibalism. Photo: David Alan Harvey/Magnum
The full Brazilian: fiction by Michel Laub and Daniel Galera
By Ian Thomson - 17 July 10:00

Two of Granta’s 20 “Best of Young Brazilian Novelists” examine Brazil’s Afro-European heritage and waves of migration from the Old World.

Next gen: Laurie Penny, photographed for the New Statesman, July 2014. Photo: Muir Vidler
Women on the verge: Melissa Benn on Beatrix Campbell and Laurie Penny
By Melissa Benn - 17 July 10:00

Prepare to be depressed. We are living through the “end of equality”, the once-celebrated advances of feminism going into dangerous reverse.

The passenger: Zweig on a bus in New York, 1941, the year before he committed suicide. Photo: Kurt Severin, courtesty of David H Lowenherz
Last exit to nowhere: the lost world of Stefan Zweig
By John Gray - 17 July 10:00

The rise of Nazism ended Stefan Zweig’s career as a European writer and led him ultimately to take his own life. Now he is enjoying an unexpected revival.

Relative value: chimps may be the only other animals on the planet that know instinctively that life is finite. Photo: Peter Eriksson
William Boyd: how mortality shapes our existence
By William Boyd - 17 July 10:00

What makes our species unique is that we know we are trapped in time, caught briefly between the prenatal darkness and the posthumous one. 

Viennese whirl: dancers of Vienna waltz project perform on stage during the Lifeball 2014 in Vienna, Austria, 31 May. Photo: Getty
Dance to the music of time: The Emperor Waltz by Philip Hensher
By Olivia Laing - 17 July 10:00

An ambitious and extraordinary ninth novel that is haunted by “a familiar piece of music, the old-fashioned sound an orchestra might make for rich ladies and gentlemen to dance to, in the old-fashioned times”.

Thor has been an alien space horse and a frog – is a woman really more fantastical than that?
By Laura Sneddon - 16 July 16:16

Marvel have announced that the new Thor will be a woman. Cue outraged cries of “PC gone mad” and “publicity stunt” from a particularly vocal segment of the fandom.

No hope: youth unemployment is at crisis levels. Photo: Getty
Owen Jones on The Condition of Britain: where is the left’s transformative programme?
By Owen Jones - 10 July 15:36

The authors of IPPR’s The Condition of Britain offer a coherent plan and one that will be influential if the Labour Party triumphs in May.

The Amazon rainforest. Photo: Getty
Puzzle pieces: finding the patterns in the poetry
By Matthew Sperling - 10 July 13:33

Matthew Sperling looks at new poetry collections by Paul Batchelor, Oli Hazzard, and Toby Martinez de las Rivas.

Montaigne and Shakespeare: two great writers of one mind
By Jonathan Bate - 10 July 13:24

Jonathan Bate traces the Bard’s debt to the French essayist Michel de Montaigne.

A view over south Bombay (now Mumbai) from Cumbala Hill in c1890. Photo: Getty
From Boston to Bombay: the ten cities that made the British Empire
By Simon Winchester - 10 July 12:27

All ten cities share a self-confident belief: that it is quite unthinkable any of their number might ever dim or wither, no matter the tides of human history that sweep around them.

The white cliffs of Dover and the South Foreland lighthouse. Photo: Getty
Jon Cruddas: Only Labour can speak for England’s roots in a single voice
By Jon Cruddas - 10 July 12:18

The shift towards English identity is a long-term phenomenon that is probably irreversible.

A statue of James Joyce in Dublin. Photo: Getty
Will Self: navigating Dublin with a literary map in my head
By Will Self - 10 July 11:39

I had gone to Dublin with the express intention of understanding a city that to me has always seemed incoherent – and even a little minatory.