A toxic reputation: Margot Asquith’s Great War Diary
By Simon Heffer - 04 July 10:00

One has the impression that the war was a prolonged drama for which she was a critic sitting in the audience. She certainly doesn’t seem to understand what part she was expected to play in it.

From Bandido to wannabe shahid: Morten Storm
Loneliness of the long-distance jihadi: Morten Storm’s double life inside al-Qaeda
By Anthony Loyd - 03 July 17:50

Storm, despite being a spy at the forefront of western intelligence efforts, was primarily driven by a desperate need to belong.

Mind games: an image from Rob Davis's graphic novel The Complete Don Quixote
Hedgehog versus fox: how do we tell the story of the novel?
By Leo Robson - 03 July 10:34

Three critics attempt to make make sense of the slippery lifespan of the realist novel, with occasionally illuminating and often chaotic results.

Sightless witness: British troops blinded by mustard gas in the German spring offensive. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty
Simon Heffer: First World War, the battle of the historians
By Simon Heffer - 03 July 10:00

From almost the opening shot, the Great War has been fought over by historians wishing to interpret and understand what happened and why. Their conflict is not over yet.

The angry nightingale: poet Sarojini Naidu. Photo: Bridgeman Images
Guillaume Apollinaire to Sarojini Naidu: the war poets you don’t study at school
By Owen Clayton - 03 July 10:00

Despite the “cosmopolitan sympathies” of the poets, memorial events in the UK today are dominated by British writers. But there are many other literary voices from the battle for the trenches.

The NS First World War poems: Edward Thomas and Robert Graves
By Edward Thomas and Robert Graves - 03 July 10:00

Two poems by the First World War poets both appeared in the pages of the New Statesman – the first in June 1918, the second March 1919.

The First World War: Battle of the books
By New Statesman - 03 July 10:00

The centenary of the outbreak of hostilities has mobilised both historians and publishers.

The NS First World War poems: Siegfried Sassoon
By Siegfried Sassoon - 03 July 10:00

Sassoon (or “Sashûn”, as he signed himself here) was one of only a handful of Great War poets who survived the fighting. This poem was first published in the New Statesman of 22 May 1926.

Gruff Rhys at the Barbican.
Reviews round-up | 1 July
By Critic - 01 July 17:00

The critics’ verdicts on Tristram Hunt, Gruff Rhys and Leslie Jamison.

A view of the Seven Sisters cliffs from Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex, 1950s. Photo: Getty
Dwarf rabbits, bee stings and inflamed buttocks: In the Approaches by Nicola Barker
By Frances Wilson - 28 June 10:00

The scene is set in 1984 but  it could be any time between 1934 and 2014 in this backwater of the East Sussex coastline far from Thatcher’s Britain.

Making the cut: Viv Albertine, Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt of the Slits in 1981
Punk survivor: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
By Tracey Thorn - 26 June 17:00

With their backcombed hair, dreads, tutus, ripped tights and Doc Martens, the Slits were the most anarchic and badly behaved band on the “White Riot” tour. 

Elevated position: the original Selfridges lifts, now installed at the Museum of London. Photo: Getty
Rebecca Front: “When I’m filming, I feel more relaxed than at almost any other time”
By Rebecca Front - 26 June 15:27

The star of Nighty NightThe Thick of It and Lewis on literary competitiveness, the cameraderie of the make-up truck and learning to cope with lifts. 

Souk El Joumaa in Damasacus, Syria. Photograph: OmarSyria on Flickr, via Creative Commons
To Damascus and back again: how my draft novel was kidnapped in Syria and lived to tell the tale
By Claire Hajaj - 26 June 13:33

“I realised: as well as my wallet and keys and hundreds of dollars, as well as my bank details and personal photographs – he had my book. My second, cherished, unborn novel – lovely plotted and crafted, and for some mad, forgotten reason not backed up.”

Poet and provocateur: Pasolini on location in Italy, 1970s. Photo: Mondadori via Getty
St Paul, Caravaggio and the agonised Catholicism of Pasolini
By Ian Thomson - 26 June 10:00

San Paolo, published posthumously in 1977 and presented here for the first time in English as St Paul, is Pasolini’s screenplay for the life of the apostle. 

Start at the end: Wicomb uses the metaphor of leaping salmon returning to their spawning grounds
Homing instinct: October by Zoë Wicomb
By Neel Mukherjee - 26 June 10:00

Wicomb was born in South Africa but has lived in Britain since the 1970s. Like previous work, her latest book revisits themes of homemaking, exile, return and race.

Is this Germaine Greer's #listeningtomen face? Photo: Getty
Mansplainers anonymous: Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
By Helen Lewis - 25 June 10:37

Solnit’s lead essay became a viral sensation because many women recognised the experience of having their expertise instantly dismissed because of the lady-shaped package it came in. 

Harry Styles from One Direction. Photo: Getty
The truth behind that six-figure deal for Harry Styles fan fiction
By Elizabeth Minkel - 24 June 11:31

A One Direction fan’s writings have earned her a huge publishing deal – and kicked off a whole new round of missing the point about fan fiction.

Clinton voted for military action in Iraq but now admits she got it wrong. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty
The new stateswoman: Hillary Clinton’s steely idealism
By Douglas Alexander - 23 June 10:34

Will Hillary run for president in 2016? Her memoir is more interested in the fine art of diplomacy.

One of the first great political broadcasters: Clement Attlee in 1950. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Clement Attlee, the original Ed Miliband
By Francis Beckett - 20 June 15:01

Attlee had an image. A wise man, he made his image rather like the real thing – quiet, cricket-loving, terse, a suburban bank manager – and it resonated with the times.

Mysterious story: a family by a campfire in New York state, 2010. Photo: Getty
Heavy meta: The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z Danielewski
By Ben Myers - 20 June 13:53

At the heart of this book is a tense fireside tale, in which a storyteller is invited to entertain five orphans at an adults’ birthday party.

Leafy living: the Sun Inn pub in Richmond, south-west London. Photo: Flickr/© Jim Linwood
Sun-In and John Lewis: growing up in 1980s British suburbia
By Rachel Cooke - 20 June 12:07

The setting is suburban posh – we are in Richmond – and the teenagers that stroll and sometimes strut across its pages are privileged types who attend smart private schools.

Playground for the rich: Tomson Golf Club in Shanghai. Photo: Alessandro Rizzi/Luz/Eyevine
The Chinese golf courses that don’t officially exist
By Simon Kuper - 20 June 12:00

The Forbidden Game uses golf – a game that most in the country probably still know nothing about – to gain a rare insight into ordinary Chinese lives. 

City limits: scavengers on a landfill site in Lagos. Teju Cole charts the underside of Nigeria's growth. Photo: Jacob Silberberg/Panos
Johannesburg and Lagos: two striking new portraits
By Hedley Twidle - 20 June 10:00

These two city books are linked by an inquiry into the mysterious ways in which the spaces of our early lives come to structure imagination, creativity and the self.

Scars of war: central Bagdhad ten years on, 2013. Photo: Getty
Opening the hurt locker: three new books on Iraq
By Erica Wagner - 19 June 17:12

There are many echoes of the literary lineage to which these books must belong. Owen’s old lie is in all of them, as is Whitman’s precious blood.

Woman in the crime mask: J K Rowling, AKA Robert Galbraith
Mark Lawson: J K Rowling and the chamber of secret names
By Mark Lawson - 19 June 17:00

Cuckoo’s Calling sold just a few hundred copies when thought to be by “Robert Galbraith”, then millions when its true author was revealed. But should the mask have stayed on longer?

The Gout by James Gillray, courtesy of the Warden and Scholars of New College, Oxford/Bridgeman Images
This won't hurt a bit: the cultural history of pain
By Joanna Bourke - 19 June 10:00

Speculation about the degree to which human beings and animals experienced pain has a long history.

Hilary Mantel. Portrait by Leonie Hampton for the New Statesman
Hilary Mantel becomes a Dame in the Queen's birthday honours
By New Statesman - 14 June 11:02

Actors Angelina Jolie and Damian Lewis and Conservative MP Nicholas Soames also received gongs.

Dictatorship of the mind: a portrait of the Great Leader, Kim il-Sung on a block in Pyongyang. Photo: Damir Sagoli: Reuters
Jang Jin-sung: I became poet laureate to Kim Jong-il
By Jang Jin-sung - 12 June 17:00

Becoming one of the “Admitted” invol­ved attending a dinner with Kim Jong-il, who played with his white Maltese puppy and kicked off his shoes under the table.

Trees decorated with hearts in the Albanian capital Tirana on Valentine's Day 2014. Photo: Getty
No sex please, I’m Albanian: Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones
By Jane Shilling - 12 June 14:00

Dramatic though the transition from Albania to America has been, Mark faces an even greater change. For 14 years, he has been living as a man – but until the age of 20, he was a girl named Hana. 

Migrant activists on the US-Mexican border hold a minute's silence to remember those who have died trying to cross. Photo: Getty
Feel my pain: The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
By Elizabeth Minkel - 12 June 14:00

If Jamison is an experienced emotional traveller, then these essays form a rough sort of guide to the human experience. Ideas about empathy seep into every one.

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