Beneath the romping humour and fast pace in this book is a plea for the shy, feminine, humane and deviant to be understood and valued.
However long a poet struggles to establish a style that answers the questions of form, voice, tone or subject haunting his imagination, the real work begins after the discovery is made.
Susan Mizruchi considers Brando a kind of one-man UN. Alas, she also unwittingly demonstrates how elitist and dictatorial her putative freedom fighter could be.
Jones is excellent on how the state, supposedly rolled back, has just changed its nature so that, as big as ever, it has become a creature of capital, controlled by the corporate sector.
The critics’ verdicts on Owen Jones’s The Establishment, James Meek’s Private Island and Emily Mackie’s In Search of Solace.
Chair of judges A C Grayling announced the six shortlisted books at a press conference in London this morning.
It is impossible to look back on the world of light entertainment in the Savile era and not come to the conclusion that it was strikingly weird.
Ali Smith’s new novel How to Be Both is dizzyingly good and so clever that it makes you want to dance.
Will Self’s latest novel is a hard read, but it rewards the attention demanded.
In The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth delicately loops the multifarious layers of English history together.
The pleasure for the reader of David Mitchell’s novels lies in the comforting sense that there might after all be a pattern to the random data of the everyday.
The author’s new novel J confounds one’s expectations but confirms Jacobson’s reputation.
Can we imagine morality on the scale of the human species as a whole?
In Sarah Waters’ new novel she shows herself to be a dab hand at conveying the immediacy of the past with no whiff of mothballs.
The critics’ verdicts on David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, Will Self’s Shark, and a new biography of Philip Larkin by James Booth.
Jim Murphy’s book combines a blokey ethos with a serious tone, and includes the Eton-smashing 1883 FA Cup final, the 1943 Spanish Cup semi-final and Robben Island’s “Makana League”.
A crab on the phone box floor; the armless mannequin
on the chapel roof at dawn; the plastic toad in the office
biscuit tin; three cuts on your shin this morning to make
the letter A; the wedding cake abandoned in the car park
Although the book has no plot to speak of, it keeps extending false hope, writes Leo Robson.
In Miram Toews’s new novel, the ability of literature to act as an antidote to despair is tested to the limit.
With consummate skill and subtlety John Williams not only brings Ancient Rome and the founder of its empire alive, but also shows how this alien world can illuminate our lives today.
This week’s New Statesman kicks off a seminal publishing season with reviews of new novels by the biggest names in British literature.
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.
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.
A painstakingly diligent new biography leaves Erica Wagner feeling relieved that the poet’s pornography collection is “almost entirely lost”.
The author and screenwriter Peter Jukes reviews two new exposés on the News of the World scandal.
Propped against a multitude of pillows in his dark bedroom, Proust maintained his connections with the outside world through a blizzard of letters.
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.
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.
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.