A painting of Chinese troops during WWII.
China's War with Japan 1937-45 by Rana Mitter: Fragments of other histories beginning to emerge
By Isabel Hilton - 04 July 11:36

The scale of suffering in China during the Second World War was unimaginable. Yet China did not submit, and it has only been since the 1980s that fragments of other histories have started to emerge.

Isaiah Berlin scrutinises a postcard.
Letters 1960-75 by Isaiah Berlin: Vast erudition, fluency and humanity, gossip, back-stabbing and name-dropping too
By David Herman - 03 July 9:00

Berlin's letters, superbly edited by Henry Hardy and Mark Pottle, encourage us to ask what is going to be remembered and what is going to fade: the work, or the personality?

Jimmy Connors.
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 02 July 14:30

The critics' verdicts on Jimmy Connors, Jonathan Sperber and Sarah Churchwell.

Jazz: the transformation from subversive expression to mainstream entertainment
By Sarah Churchwell - 27 June 9:41

Sarah Churchwell reviews <em>Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties</em> by Robert Nippoldt and Hans-Jürgen Schaal.

The Outsider by Jimmy Connors: Is there a competitive advantage to “assholery”?
By Ed Smith - 27 June 8:41

Former tennis player Jimmy Connors' memoir has the ring of honesty, as though he is trying to be entirely straightforward.

Portrait of a Party by Stuart Ball: The devil's in the detail
By Vernon Bogdanor - 27 June 8:15

A detailed history of the Conservative Party's domination between the First and Second World Wars.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: A half-remembered fairy tale from childhood
By Alex Hern - 27 June 8:09

A book that feels like it’s made up of offcuts and dreams.

New Statesman
A Child of One’s Own by Rachel Bowlby: A study of “unnatural” parenthood
By Rachel Cusk - 22 June 10:28

One could say that the Oedipus narrative gave us <em>Wuthering Heights</em> where the Moses story resulted in <em>Jane Eyre</em>; or at least that between them can be found the spectrum of objective and subjective narrative possibilities.

A protester's shirt displays an embroidery of the Virgin Mary
The Virgin Birth and other myths
By John Gray - 22 June 9:21

Sins of omission and myths of the Enlightenment.

Iain Banks.
Away the Crow Road
By Helen Lewis - 20 June 11:17

Remembering Iain Banks, an intensely political writer.

New Statesman
Alexandria by Peter Stothard: A wander through places where the thoughts of the dead live on
By John Sutherland - 20 June 11:12

The loose-knittedness of <em>Alexandria</em> encourages Jack Hornerism. For me, the richest plums in the pudding are the digressions on Stothard’s background.

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton: Not so much eagle-eyed as bird-brained
By Claire Lowdon - 20 June 10:53

A book that purports “to provide readers and students with some of the basic tools of the critical trade” is chock-full of critical fallacies and flawed reasoning.

The North by Paul Morley: Warmth, decency, truth and proper beer, with a side order of menace
By Stuart Maconie - 20 June 10:47

For everyone who is exasperated by Morley’s oblique, mazy, impressionistic style, there will be others who will be seduced by its heft, even if they don’t realise quite how good it is.

The Unwinding by George Packer: How America became like Walmart
By Alan Ryan - 20 June 10:38

An impressive piece of work – but not a happy one.

Melanie Phillips appearing on BBC Question Time.
Read Melanie Phillips' memoir and politely disagree: it will annoy her
By Helen Lewis - 19 June 11:05

A fascinating psychological portrait of a woman who seems to feel most alive when under fire.

New Statesman
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 17 June 15:18

The critics' verdicts on Rachel Kushner, Iain Banks and Sylvain Tesson.

Asunder by Chloe Aridjis: More interested in being than becoming
By Juliet Jacques - 17 June 14:45

Asunder communicates its ideas, and their supporting cultural references, subtly and efficiently.

A young boy reading a book.
There is a problem with boys and books - and all-female prize panels aren't helping
By Jonathan Emmett - 17 June 9:43

All thirteen judges on this year's Greenaway and Carnegie Medal panel are women. Last year there was only one man. Although there are plenty of men writing and illustrating picture books, the gatekeepers in the world of picture books are overwhelmingly fe

Did we really need to see Peter Pan calling Tinkerbell a "slut"?
By Alex Hern - 16 June 19:53

Reviewed: Peter Pan by Régis Loisel.

An Arghan policeman.
Investment in Blood by Frank Ledwidge: A devastating indictment of the utter, unanswerable folly of Afghanistan
By Sherard Cowper-Cowles - 16 June 11:00

Frank Ledwidge, once a “justice adviser” in Britain’s para-colonial administration in Helmand, has produced a devastating indictment of Britain’s military intervention in southern Afghanistan. If those of us complicit in the error were ever brought to jus

A still image from Lurhmann's The Great Gatsby.
Careless People by Sarah Churchwell: The glamour and grimness of Gatsby
By Alexandra Harris - 16 June 10:00

Sarah Churchwell's Careless People is as mixed and inclusive as F Scott Fitzgerald’s scrapbooks. Both offer 1922 as the chief exhibit to explain the jazz age.

Portrait of James Salter.
Lives that seem perfect but aren’t: An appreciation of James Salter
By Kirsty Gunn - 15 June 13:00

Twenty years ago Kirsty Gunn was promoting a book about a perfect family who seemed to have everything, but whose lives were slowly falling apart. An audience member suggested she read James Salter's "Light Years". It was the beginning of a life-long love

A man holds up an ancient banknote.
Money by Felix Martin: Exposing the flaws in the way we think about money
By Alex Brummer - 15 June 12:00

A fresh addition to the growing library of "recession lit": one which delves into anthropology and ancient history to argue we will never understand the financial crisis with our current misguided perspective on money.

People sitting in front of laptops, some looking at the screen, others not.
Attention! by Joshua Cohen: "Since using the computer, since using the internet, it’s as if my mind itself has evanesced"
By Jon Day - 15 June 12:00

In our hypermediated world, where we choose to bestow our attention has become a matter of commercial interest. Joshua Cohen, an American novelist and critic, has drawn up a history of attention in short, attention-grabbing episodes, from the dawn of writ

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner: A paradoxical kind of failure
By Leo Robson - 15 June 10:06

Rachel Kushner’s new novel bursts forth with life, anecdote and evocation. She is a writer infinitely addicted to noticing, but despite her energy and skill, the book fails to produce the required momentum.

An unheard-of surprise
By Hayley Campbell - 12 June 15:57

Hayley Campbell reviews Gerald Shea's <em>Song Without Words</em>.

Iain Banks books.
Grief among readers and friends for Iain Banks
By Chris D Allen - 10 June 13:01

Friends, readers and fellow-writers remember a Scottish literary great.

Saul Bellow in 1992.
Greg Bellow: Believe me, there was plenty of fighting and screaming, plenty of friction and grief
By Leo Robson - 07 June 19:00

Greg Bellow, son of Saul Bellow and author of Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son's Memoir, on family, psychotherapy and writing.