Umberto Eco and why we still dream of utopia
By John Gray - 05 December 8:19

Visions of ideal societies have recurred throughout history but such societies were nearly always placed in an irretrievable past.

Books of the Year 2013
By New Statesman - 03 December 10:28

The New Statesman’s friends and contributors choose their favourite books of 2013.

Framing the Outsider
By Jonathan Webber - 29 November 15:02

The Cure, the new Penguin editions of Camus, and the details of presentation.

White Girls by Hilton Als: The physical effects of power on resistant bodies
By Olivia Laing - 21 November 11:47

These pages are populated by black male bodies in multiple guises: in drag, on stage, in the act of sex. Certain images return with a cumulative power more commonly associated with the novel. Pryor, in the depths of drug addiction, pours brandy over his b

Here, there is no hand-wringing about the death of the book
By Frances Wilson - 21 November 11:35

A Little History of Literature and How to Read a Novelist.

New Statesman
Spain is not merely a cultural museum for outsiders
By Fiona Sampson - 14 November 17:46

One book that recognises this, and one that fails to do so.

New Statesman
Douglas Hurd on Robert Harris' An Officer and a Spy
By Douglas Hurd - 14 November 17:34

One question above all emerges when reading this book: would we in Britain have behaved better?

New Statesman
Morrissey's autobiography: charmless sniping and quasi-erotic raptures
By Andrew Harrison - 14 November 17:25

The book issues a clarification of his sexuality – his two-year live-in relationship with the photographer Jake Walters – so obscure that it needed a clarification of its own after the book was published.

New Statesman
A Watched Man: Why Paul Robeson's voice spoke for us all
By Yo Zushi - 14 November 10:53

Robeson was and remains important because his conception of justice was based on something as simple as our fundamental right to dignity.

New Statesman
Was Norman Mailer the last tough guy?
By Daniel Swift - 14 November 10:35

Mailer married six times and had nine children; there were innumerable affairs, parties and arguments. He published 44 books. He never stopped. After one of his children is born, he leaves the hospital and that night begins an affair with his sister-in-la

Goldsmiths Prize.
Watch: Lars Iyer, Jim Crace, Philip Terry and Eimear McBride on the Dark Ages, sexy prizes and experimentation
By Jay Bhadricha - 12 November 10:00

Writers shortlisted for the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize read from their work and answer questions.

The curse of being called Sharon
By Sharon Bolton - 11 November 12:41

Sharon Bolton learned the hard way that people were quick to make judgements about her based on her name, which is why she published her books using her initials. Now, she's had enough.

New Statesman
Malcolm Gladwell has found God (and Glenn Beck)
By Isaac Chotiner - 11 November 11:03

On Beck’s show Gladwell went well beyond anything he said in his book.

New Statesman
Snake Dance by Patrick Marnham: The self that is known
By Will Self - 07 November 9:49

Under the care of the psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, Warburg was presented with a challenge: if he could successfully deliver a lecture to an invited audience of medical staff, patients and friends, he would be released.

New Statesman
How music gave Bach what real life could not
By James Naughtie - 07 November 9:33

John Eliot Gardiner has spoiled the field for everyone. His portrait of J S Bach is magnificent.

New Statesman
England's chief medical officer on why the drugs don't work
By Michael Barrett - 07 November 9:29

Large-scale resistance to antibiotics is inevitable, yet new antibacterials aren't emerging. Why?

Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma.
Joanna Trollope: What Jane Austen knew about class
By Joanna Trollope - 07 November 7:09

Pretension remains the greatest social crime – and authenticity the greatest virtue.

Malala in London
Reviews round-up
By New Statesman - 05 November 11:30

The critics' verdicts on Malala Yousafzai, Hermione Lee and Bridget Jones.

New Statesman
What we should take from the second volume of Mark Twain’s cantankerous autobiography
By David Grylls - 31 October 14:53

The Twain who steps out of the Autobiography is more sceptical and negative than the Twain of the novels but still very much the same character.

New Statesman
Is everyone really a critic?
By Andrew Harrison - 31 October 7:46

User-generated content is driving out expert or elite opinion and this is affecting the film reviewing trade in particular.

New Statesman
Who were the most extraordinary women of the fifties?
By Caroline Crampton - 31 October 6:56

Those who made dangerous choices when the only choice seemed to be "marry or die".

Typewriter.
If you want to be an author, the worst thing you can do is get published
By Lionel Shriver - 25 October 13:00

The wholesale colonisation of one's day by auxiliary activities that haven’t a whit to do with the contemplative, hermetical job of a novelist, is now the norm for most professional writers.

New Statesman
Bloodbath before dawn: The last years of WWII were among the most brutal
By Richard J Evans - 24 October 13:50

Two books obsessed with human savagery.

New Statesman
Is America's influence "empire by invitation"?
By John Bew - 24 October 10:40

The suggestion that the United States behaves like an imperial power is something that still causes great sensitivity in a country founded in revolt against the British empire, and which has usually seen itself as a champion of the independence and self-d

New Statesman
Dave Eggers' new thriller: Beware of the IT crowd
By Talitha Stevenson - 24 October 9:41

Despite a climax involving a leadenly symbolic, Jurassic Park-style “feeding experiment” in the Circle’s aquariums, The Circle is the well-managed thriller Eggers plainly intended it to be.

New Statesman
Donna Tartt's latest novel is smart, in both senses of the word
By Jane Shilling - 24 October 9:31

Ravishingly beautiful writing from a rock-star novelist.

Library.
Books in brief: Robert Walser, Michael Ruse and Hans Küng
By Philip Maughan - 24 October 9:20

Three new books you may have missed.

New Statesman
Herodotus, "the father of history", and the benefit of doubt
By Peter Jones - 24 October 9:15

Herodotus was happy to report what he was told but felt “under no obligation to believe it entirely – something that is true for the whole of my narrative”. The man who loved “wonders” was committed to wondering whether they were real.

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