Some great writers are also great letter-writers, others are not. Bulgakov's letters tell the story, or at least accompany the story, of the young writers journey to Moscow to the publication of The Master and Margarita.
The "Bill Sikes" actor turned down Spielberg, Polanski and even James Bond - why?
Winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African writing and four nominees all hail from Nigeria.
Juliet Jacques on Deborah Levy's new essay.
The Quarry comes across as something of a "greatest hits" - I wanted, desperately, for the book to be a final majestic flourish - his rightly deserved swan song. But it isn't. It's a stinker.
The elephant untethered.
You have to go back in time a long way to find pastoral writing that doesn't mourn the shrinking diversity in our wild places. The pastoral has given was to new "nature writers". If they were put in charge of the countryside, these islands would become a
Politicians create narrative from scant facts on a daily basis - it's part of the job. New memoirs from Johnson and Widdecombe offer an example of how-to (and how not-to) use this skill.
The author of a trilogy of studies on Italy, Tim Parks always keeps his ear to the ground, looking for the telltale nuance, the occluded revelation of national character.
Claire Lowdon on the humble and bold second novel from Granta's "Best Young British Novelist" Evie Wyld.
The Books Interview.
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.
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?
The critics' verdicts on Jimmy Connors, Jonathan Sperber and Sarah Churchwell.
Sarah Churchwell reviews <em>Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties</em> by Robert Nippoldt and Hans-Jürgen Schaal.
Former tennis player Jimmy Connors' memoir has the ring of honesty, as though he is trying to be entirely straightforward.
Land of hope and stories.
A detailed history of the Conservative Party's domination between the First and Second World Wars.
A book that feels like it’s made up of offcuts and dreams.
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.
Sins of omission and myths of the Enlightenment.
Remembering Iain Banks, an intensely political writer.
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.
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.
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.
An impressive piece of work – but not a happy one.
A fascinating psychological portrait of a woman who seems to feel most alive when under fire.
The critics' verdicts on Rachel Kushner, Iain Banks and Sylvain Tesson.
Asunder communicates its ideas, and their supporting cultural references, subtly and efficiently.
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