James Salter has published his sixth novel, aged 87.
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 28 May 15:50

The critics' verdicts on James Salter, George Monbiot and David Goodhart.

Ramsey MacDonald.
Britain’s First Labour Government by John Shepherd and Keith Laybourn: Ghetto politics
By Vernon Bogdanor - 28 May 12:56

The first Labour government was formed in January 1924 after the only real threeparty election in Britain in the 20th century. It is a story which resonates: showing how dangerous it is to retreat into a ghetto, isolated from other forces on the left.

Penury, swindlers and the American way: the capitalist legacy of superheroes
By Laura Sneddon - 26 May 13:13

As a pay dispute threatens the superhero stranglehold on box office takings, it’s a timely reminder that these capitalist heroes have long trampled upon the artists who brought them to life, writes Laura Sneddon.

Paul Auster.
Letters by Paul Auster and J M Coetzee: “Do things like this happen to you, or am I the only one?”
By Olivia Laing - 24 May 12:33

In 2008 J M Coetzee wrote to Paul Auster suggesting they begin an exchange by mail and, “God willing, strike sparks off each other”. Did they manage it?

The argument that growth, liberty and social justice require a fundamental refor
Progressive Capitalism by David Sainsbury: A new centre ground is being forged
By Andrew Adonis - 24 May 11:35

This book is equally important for what it says and for who is saying it. A decade ago, this prospectus would have seen its author branded “Red Sainsbury”. Now it is sensible and mainstream.

Pope Francis.
On Heaven and Earth by Pope Francis and Abraham Skorka: Will the Church become just another charity?
By John Cornwell - 24 May 9:11

Vatican watchers will find strong clues about the direction of Pope Francis in On Heaven and Earth: a series of conversations Bergoglio held with Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires.

New Statesman
A Marvel comic shows the true face of Britain
By Alex Hern - 23 May 15:49

Faiza Hussein is the new Captain Britain.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's new Gatsby film.
Ignore all The Great Gatsby hype, and read Fitzgerald’s wonderful essays instead
By Ed Smith - 23 May 14:54

The prose shines more brightly than any party on Long Island.

Flanery’s American city – Omaha, Nebraska, in all but name – is a grim, featurel
Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery: A story impaled by its own moral
By Leo Robson - 23 May 11:28

It’s as a portrait of the age that this novel feels most overdone. Flanery’s American city – Omaha, Nebraska, in all but name – is a grim, featureless place, and on the way to becoming fully privatised.

Reviewed: Letters by Kurt Vonnegut
By Daniel Swift - 16 May 10:54

Made in Dresden.

The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine: Natural born killers?
By David Shariatmadari - 15 May 12:45

Adrian Raine has a low resting heart rate, a highly active prefrontal cortex and a fissure down the centre of his tongue. Each of these can be risk factors for antisocial behaviour and violence. Should David Shariatmadari be worried about reviewing his bo

Tash Aw.
Tash Aw: "It's a very complex form of bigotry"
By Philip Maughan - 10 May 15:01

The Malaysian novelist on fiction, immigration and the Shanghainese.

It on a winter's night a traveller.
What we learn when we read Italo Calvino’s letters
By Michael Wood - 10 May 10:39

The life and death of the author.

Hot air ballooning.
Reviewed: Levels of Life by Julian Barnes
By Leo Robson - 09 May 9:35

Little more than hot air.

Margaret Thatcher.
Reviewed: Margaret Thatcher the Authorised Biography by Charles Moore
By David Owen - 08 May 11:01

Charles Moore admires Margaret Thatcher, but he cannot fully relate to her.

New Statesman
Urban novelties: How Bristol itself became a short story
By Sarah Ditum - 08 May 10:09

<em>These Pages Fall Like Ash</em> turned a city into a fantasy novel, making Sarah Ditum see her home with new eyes.

Haruki Murakami.
Haruki Murakami: “Think of me like an endangered species”
By Philip Maughan - 07 May 11:38

The taciturn novelist has made his first appearance in Japan since 1995.

New Statesman
Childlike in the best way – The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
By Alex Hern - 05 May 15:44

Stephen Collins' debut graphic novel, reviewed.

New Statesman
The holes in comics history are finally closing
By Alex Hern - 05 May 11:31

The canon of comics is full of lost greats – but the gaps are slowly getting filled in.

Reviewed: Philosophical Essays - a Critical Edition by Fernando Pessoa
By John Gray - 02 May 10:06

The many identities of Fernando Pessoa.