Damian McBride: Repentant spinner
By Helen Lewis - 02 October 11:05

Damian McBride is a bastard. And, unusually for a memoirist, he’s very keen to let you know that from the start, writes Helen Lewis.

High Minds by Simon Heffer: A thunderous new history of the Victorian era
By Tristram Hunt - 02 October 10:49

This is an extended paean to an era whose ethos and moral purpose navigated the transition from the chaos of the Industrial Revolution to the equanimity of late-Victorian Britain.

New Statesman
Empress Dowager Cixi: The concubine who launched modern China
By Rana Mitter - 02 October 9:28

Much more than a Chinese Anne Boleyn, Cixi engineered a palace coup to place her young son on the throne at the age of just 25.

David Vann.
Reviews round-up | 1 October
By Critic - 01 October 17:00

The critics' verdict on David Vann, William Boyd and Damian McBride.

The Goldsmiths Prize.
The Goldsmiths Prize: Where the boundaries of fiction and non-fiction cede to creativity
By Philip Maughan - 01 October 13:00

After the Booker Prize's announcement that it will accept English-language across the globe, the Goldsmiths Prize occupies a unique position. Its debut shortlist was revealed this morning.

New Statesman
Stephen King still won't accept Kubrick's genius
By Mark Hodge - 30 September 10:26

What is it that particularly irks King about a film that was so universally acclaimed?

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: A strangely passive experience
By Claire Lowdon - 26 September 15:34

Stripping back an already pared-down style to the point of blandness.

New Statesman
On David Gilmour: The Loneliness of the Old White Male
By Holger Syme - 26 September 12:41

David Gilmour seems to be fond of authors, and he says he loves their work — provided they are male, white, and very much like him. Here's why he's wrong.

New Statesman
What Should We Tell Our Daughters?: The age after innocence
By Sarah Ditum - 26 September 12:11

Is feminism capable of addressing the differences between women, as well as those between women and men?

New Statesman
Democracy Ltd by Bobby Friedman: Formula wrong
By Jack Straw - 26 September 11:54

British elections used to be heroically corrupt.

New Statesman
The barbarism of reason: John Gray on the Notebooks of Leopardi
By John Gray - 26 September 11:41

The first full translation of a reclusive Italian poet’s philosophical “hotchpotch” is a major event in the history of ideas.

Berlin Wall.
Red Love by Maxim Leo: Secondarily a memoir, foremost a love story
By Marina Benjamin - 26 September 8:50

Marina Benjamin is impressed by the storytelling and cool-headed analysis in Maxim Leo's Red Love: the Story of an East German Family.

New Statesman
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 24 September 12:11

The critics' verdicts on Stephen King, Sathnam Sanghera and Maxim Leon.

New Statesman
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon: Dotcom survivors
By Leo Robson - 20 September 12:40

A book where even the phrase "You are so grounded" takes on significance.

New Statesman
Jonathan Coe and Justin Cartwright: Fictional prime time
By John Sutherland - 20 September 12:30

The British novel, at its best, is engaged, liberal, highly informed, secular, sceptical and above all humane.

Out of Print by George Brock: An unfinished and chaotic story
By Emily Bell - 20 September 12:15

Brock convincingly disabuses readers of the notion of a “golden age” of journalism in the postwar period. But he often doesn't go far enough.

New Statesman
The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor: No more a-roving
By Jeremy Seal - 20 September 11:00

I set off along The Broken Road laden with expectations that I would have to make allowances. Yet almost from the off, I realised that I would have no use for these.

Jonathan Franzen.
Why Jonathan Franzen is wrong about novelists and Twitter
By Jennifer Weiner - 19 September 12:22

In his essay last week, Jonathan Franzen complained about the "yakkers and tweeters and braggers" who publicise their books through "Jennifer Weiner-ish" self-promotion. Now, Jennifer Weiner replies.

Bold and beautiful: the new Library of Birmingham
By Stuart Maconie - 19 September 12:07

Over its ten storeys, the Library of Birmingham houses an art gallery, a children’s area, a multimedia centre, two cafés, a music library, a performance space, a theatre, a restaurant, terraces with herb gardens and more.

The Blunders of Our Governments: How attractive would a blunder-free government be?
By Alan Johnson - 19 September 8:12

Even the cleverest politicians make mistakes.

New Statesman
Alexander McCall Smith on why W H Auden still matters
By Alexander McCall Smith - 19 September 8:09

W H Auden, who died 40 years ago this month, is one of the most humane, loving, direct and affecting poets of all time, writes Alexander McCall Smith.

New Statesman
The Currency of Paper by Alex Kovacs: How capitalism affects art
By Juliet Jacques - 18 September 10:16

A fascinating and funny dissection of the relationship between art and commerce.

The author Jhumpa Lahiri
Writers of Colour: Shortlisted for prizes because of their individual worth, nothing else
By Monisha Rajesh - 13 September 10:23

Knee-jerk reactions to representations of skin colour and sex have become so commonplace that individual worth is increasingly overlooked in place of head counts. But a good book just needs energy, soul, and fabulous writing.

New Statesman
Cat Sense by John Bradshaw: An attempt to dispel the mystery surrounding an animal never fully domesticated
By Andrew Harrison - 12 September 11:09

After reading Cat Sense, you will never look at your cat in the same way again. You might wish you still could.

Orthodox Jews in Prospect Park.
On Simon Schama's Story of the Jews: There is no one version of the Jewish past
By David Cesarani - 12 September 11:00

David Cesarani praises Simon Schama's erudite, playful and personal history reinterpretation of Jewish history.

New Statesman
An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman: Far from his beloved Moscow, reflecting on the best and worst of humanity
By David Herman - 12 September 10:22

As he connects with Armenian peasants, we are reminded that this ill, suffering man, far from home, is one of the great writers of his time.

New Statesman
Books in Brief: Andrew Lycett, Robert Calderisi and Tom Cheshire
By Michael Prodger - 12 September 10:03

Three new books you may have missed.

New Statesman
The Poets' Daughters by Katie Waldegrave: A tale of two women obscured by their fathers
By Julia Copus - 12 September 9:19

Sara Coleridge and Dora Wordsworth are finally emerging from their fathers' shadows in this insightful and compassionate book.

Tolstoy and the Lesson of the Artist
By Robert Morss Lovett - 11 September 8:07

In 1928, Robert Morss Lovett marked Tolstoy's centenary in the <em>New Republic</em> with this essay exploring the existential questions that haunted the author throughout his life.