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Kim Gordon. Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MOCA
Writing the end: Kim Gordon's autobiography is a thoughtful story from inside an epic band
By Kate Mossman - 26 February 14:19

Girl in a Band reaps the rewards of its introspective author with a pan-American story that will engross fans and non-fans alike.

Reading festival. Photo: Simone Joyner/Getty Images
Just why are there so few female artists on music festival line-ups?
By Stephanie Boland - 26 February 13:31

The Reading and Leeds line-up is outrageously light on women musicians - but with set-in-their-ways promoters and the exclusionary demands of touring, it's going to be hard to change.

Amadeus, amadeus: a Mozart score. Photo: AFP.
Going off script: on a new Radio 4 programme, even reading Mozart's scores proves entrancing
By Antonia Quirke - 26 February 11:47

Tales from the Stave and The Film Programme on BBC Radio 4.

Fast lives: Galliano (left), Mcqueen and friends. Photo: Rex images
The dark side of fashion: on the lives of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
By Helen Lewis - 26 February 11:37

With the genius of fashion increasingly subsumed by the demands of mass commerce, it's hard not to implicate the industry in Galliano and McQueen's fates.

Fear eats the soul: Hugh (Jake Weary) and Jay (Maika Monroe)
It Follows: a film about a sexually transmitted curse forces us to face mortality itself
By Ryan Gilbey - 26 February 11:23

Ryan Gilbey reviews It Follows, directed by David Robert Mitchell.

Breakfast (Psst. It's a euphemism). Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Rule one of the Breakfast Club: there’s no place more embarrassing to see someone you know
By Nicholas Lezard - 26 February 11:22

Does a breakfast taken in the first term of the Thatcher administration still count?

A girl reads atop a stack of books. Photo: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
“She blinded me with library science”: why the Feminist Library is more vital than ever
By Stephanie Boland - 26 February 11:10

Despite scant funding and resources, London’s Feminist Library is turning their 40th year into a celebration of storytelling, history – and, hopefully, sofas.

Vegetables. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images
Han Kang's The Vegetarian: the failures of language and the mysteries of the physical
By Joanna Walsh - 26 February 11:03

Comparable to Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener” to Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist”, The Vegetarian ties social refusal to sexual protest.

The kids will be alright. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Raising hell: what do we mean by family values in the twenty-first century?
By Melissa Benn - 26 February 10:54

Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift's Family Values: the Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships, and Tanith Carey's Taming the Tiger Parent.

Amateur hour: Una Stubbs and a contestant.
A brush with boredom: The Big Painting Challenge wants to do for easels what Bake Off did for whisks
By Rachel Cooke - 26 February 10:49

Plus Suffragettes Forever! – a good series let down by its tone and speed.

An LED screen displayed the word "Labour". Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Will we ever see a Thatcher of the left? Peter Hain and Will Hutton on Labour’s potential for reform
By George Eaton - 26 February 10:29

In new books, both Hain and Hutton recognise Labour as the only vehicle for reform – but what kind will emerge remains to be seen.

Bundles of rare delight: the flavours of dim sum in Shanghai are unlike anything you’ll discover at your local. Photo: ROB HOWARD/CORBIS
Snow fungus and braised frog: in search of real Chinese food
By Felicity Cloake - 26 February 10:22

If you know where to look, you can get a long way from virulent orange sauce and “chips, not rice”.

Turner’s Fighting Temeraire (1839). Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
What the strikes at the National Gallery tell us about Britain
By Tom Overton - 25 February 11:30

The National Gallery is a kind of visual phrasebook articulating awkward truths about our civic life.

Fifteen years on, Radiohead's Kid A is the best evocation of the failures of New Labour
By Max Harris - 24 February 12:01

Fifteen years after Kid A, Max Harris looks back on a record that serves as a searing critique of the New Labour years

Neil Gaiman. Photo: Rex Features
Distraction techniques: Neil Gaiman’s new book proves you can’t read a short story online
By Frank Cottrell Boyce - 24 February 9:25

Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances reminds us that stories demand all our attention.

Critical Distance: This Week in Videogame Blogging #7
By Critical Distance - 23 February 15:19

Ableism in horror games.

The Oscars 2015: the full list of winners
By Anna Leszkiewicz - 23 February 10:43

And the Oscar goes to...

Julie Walters at the Royal Festival Hall, London in 2010. Photo: Richard Saker/Rex
Julie Walters: “I don’t think I’m posh enough to be a dame”
By Mark Lawson - 19 February 17:42

The actress on work, travel – and why she'd be perfectly happy growing tomatoes. 

The satellite television channel that also helps make up BBC Arabic. Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages
1,001 Days and Nights: radio proves pivotal as BBC Arabic turns 77
By Antonia Quirke - 19 February 17:15

It broadcasts 24 hours a day from Morocco to Iran - but how does one explain BBC Arabic radio?

A spa treatment room. Photo: Merlin resort, Thailand/Flickr
Tracey Thorn: I know just how uptight I am when I find myself at a spa and unable to chill
By Tracey Thorn - 19 February 17:05

I envy calm people for their apparent immunity to overexcitement or overreaction.

Village people: Michael Gambon in The Casual Vacancy.
From Pagford to the Punjab: Sunday night rivals The Casual Vacancy and Indian Summers both fall short
By Rachel Cooke - 19 February 16:52

J K Rowling adaptation The Casual Vacancy and Channel 4's Indian Summers lack something for our critic.

James MacMillan in action.
Conjuring sound: James MacMillan conducts a retrospective of his own works
By Caroline Crampton - 19 February 16:27

Appearing at the Barbican with the BBC Singers and London Sinfonietta, the composer's hands seem to shape music out of thin air.

Barbara Hepworth’s Reconstruction (1947). © BOWNESS, HEPWORTH ESTATE.
Britain can’t make it: a Hayward Gallery exhibition struggles to make sense of the past
By Michael Prodger - 19 February 12:34

History Is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain is a confused hotch-potch of ideas.

Civil war re-enactors at Gettysburg. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Laird Hunt's Neverhome: the civil war isn’t just something in America’s past
By Erica Wagner - 19 February 11:59

A novel of the American Civil War that combines realism with the powerful folklore surrounding defiant women.

Outside the Strand bookstore in New York. Photo: Kathleen Tyler Conklin on Flickr via Creative Commons
The crack of the spine: why do we find wear and tear in books so comforting?
By Oliver Farry - 19 February 9:42

Objects that feel lived in give us a comforting feeling of having come a long way, of having been through the years and having done some hard work to get there.

Elephants on the move. Photo: Michael Lorentz/AFP/Getty Images
“18”: a poem by Iain Banks
By Iain Banks - 19 February 9:25

A work by the late author.

Anne Tyler. Photo: Clara Molden/Camera Press
Generation game: can novelist Anne Tyler save the modern saga?
By Leo Robson - 18 February 15:51

Conceived by Zola and sullied by Jonathan Franzen, the modern saga is in poor health. But Anne Tyler might be its saviour.

God’s houses: arboretums recall the architectural grandeur of churches. Photo: Mike Vardy/Science Photo Library
Botanical gardens are the cathedrals of our times
By John Burnside - 18 February 10:20

In the bleak midwinter, there are few walks more energising.

"Let's go with Labour" (1964). Photo: People's History Museum
The People’s History Museum in Manchester is the most forthright museum I’ve ever visited
By Stephanie Boland - 17 February 12:02

A new exhibition, Election! Britain Votes, at the People’s History Museum in Manchester explores the nature of democracy in a candid and sincere fashion that is far removed from the complacency we often get when museums try and do politics.

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