The latest on books and the arts


What is it like to come from an intensely musical family?
By Steven Isserlis - 06 February 14:31

Many generations of Steven Isserlis's family have been involved in making music, transported and shaped by opportunities to play. A celebrated cellist himself, he describes how closely music is connected to a happy family life.

Reviews Roundup | 6 February
By New Statesman - 06 February 9:30

The critics' verdicts on Philip Lymbery and Isabel Oakeshott, Sherill Tippins and Ray Jayawardhana.

Adam Curtis: “We don't read newspapers because the journalism is so boring”
By Rob Pollard - 04 February 12:50

An interview with Adam Curtis, producer of the BBC documentaries The Power of Nightmares and The Century of the Self.

What's behind the puritanical obsession with Jay-Z and Beyoncé's marriage?
By Justin Charity - 31 January 17:11

Their performance of “Drunk In Love” at the Grammys was undoubtedly sultry, but why does it give the media licence to speculate about “what goes on” in the couple’s own home?

In the Frame: Lord Rennard’s law of 21st-century debate
By Tom Humberstone - 31 January 9:42

Tom Humberstone’s weekly observational comic for the <i>NS</i>.

Remembering “Those Glory Glory Days” – a film that understood what football can mean to people
By Martin Cloake - 31 January 9:14

Julie Welch’s semi-autobiographical 1983 film <em>Those Glory Glory Days</em> is that rarest of things, a film about football that works.

Geoff Dyer to judge the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize
By Critic - 28 January 10:18

The prize, inaugurated in 2013 to reward "fiction at its most novel", will officially relaunch on 29 January.

Justified: What happens when you take a cop show out of the city?
By Phil Hartup - 27 January 14:54

In stepping away from established urban locales to the slightly shop-soiled countryside of Kentucky, Justified manages to change not just is aesthetic but also its characters and stories.

How many people are reading Mein Kampf in 2014?
By Adam Kirsch - 27 January 9:52

According to Time and ABC News it has rocketed up the e-book charts - but are more people reading it now than six months ago? By turning Mein Kampf into a totem of evil, we only reinforce its dark glamour.

In the Frame: I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe
By Tom Humberstone - 24 January 10:10

Tom Humberstone’s weekly observational comic for the <i>NS</i>.

Fiction can be a sharp tool for analysing how we think.
Nathan Filer: How novels can help us understand mental health
By Philip Maughan - 23 January 12:13

Costa award winning novelist Nathan Filer on his life as a mental health nurse, the location of illness and the power of fiction.

Jason Schwartzman.
Jason Schwartzman to play Philip Roth in upcoming movie - almost
By Philip Maughan - 22 January 11:48

Listen Up Philip concernes a self-involved Jewish writer, named Philip, who visits an older Jewish writer, named Ike Zimmerman, at his secluded country home.

Manon at the Royal Opera House: a voluptuous romp translated to the Belle Epoque
By Alexandra Coghlan - 20 January 15:54

Opera’s ultimate problem-child heroine returns to the Royal Opera House in a production somewhat lacking in warmth.

No, Jane Austen was not a game theorist
By William Deresiewicz - 20 January 13:42

Using science to explain art is a good way to butcher both, and is intellectually bankrupt to boot.

New Statesman
In the Frame: Dear Mr Gove
By Tom Humberstone - 17 January 10:09

Tom Humberstone’s weekly observational comic for the <i>New Statesman</i>.

Poppy on memorial in the centenary year of the First World War
Reviews round-up | 14 January
By New Statesman - 14 January 15:30

The best of the critics this week on Helen Dunmore's war novel The Lie, philosopher-scientist Joshua Greene's Moral Tribes and Jack El-Hai's foray into criminal minds in The Nazi and the Psychiatrist.

Ten reasons last night's Golden Globes was the best kind of awards show
By Laura Bennett - 13 January 11:18

As awards shows go, it was a night of surprising self-awareness, when almost everyone seemed in on the joke of their own ridiculousness.

Why is no one challenging the misogyny on Celebrity Big Brother?
By Rebecca Reilly-Cooper - 13 January 10:39

The revelation that Jim Davidson, Evander Holyfield and Dappy from N-Dubz are acting like misogynists is hardly shocking. The depressing and dispiriting thing is how ordinary and everyday their attitudes are, and how little their behaviour was challenged.

New Statesman
In the Frame: Flood
By Tom Humberstone - 09 January 16:57

Tom Humberstone's weekly observational comic for the New Statesman.

For those of us who find Nigella Lawson difficult to watch, The Taste is sheer hell
By Rachel Cooke - 08 January 10:04

Nigella Lawson’s new reality show <em>The Taste</em> is a phoney, derivative reality show with no charm or drama.

The Metropolitan Museum.
Reviews round-up | 7 January
By New Statesman - 07 January 18:04

The critics' verdicts on Linda Colley's book on the union, David Gilbert's "& Sons" and Mark Bostridge's history of England at the outset of the First World War.

Reading books does re-wire your brain, but so does everything else
By Ian Steadman - 07 January 17:25

Another day, another study misrepresented as causing our brains to change in some mysterious, irreversible way.

Books of the year 2014?
The year of reading dangerously: books to look out for in 2014
By Tom Gatti - 06 January 17:10

The <i>New Statesman</i>'s culture editor takes a look forward at the books set to dominate the year.

Kristen Bell as high school private detective Veronica Mars.
Veronica Mars: Can a crowdfunded film ever be good?
By Caroline Crampton - 03 January 13:16

Once your audience are also your investors, can you ever do anything innovative or surprising?

Scroobius Pip.
My love-hate relationship with Spoken Word
By Ruby Lott-Lavigna - 02 January 11:24

Spoken Word is a frustrating art form. Its historical roots run deep, but in its present form it fluctuates between being vibrant, engaging and socially active - to pretentious and dull.

New Statesman
The rules for being Walter Mitty
By Ricky Power Sayeed - 27 December 15:51

These rules reveal that few of us qualify as full-blown Walts. But all of us are fantasists.

Ian Watkins.
Rock music isn't evil - it's the rock star myth that creates men like Ian Watkins
By Ben Myers - 18 December 17:39

Music journalist and author Ben Myers has been doing some soul searching on the day the former Lostprophets singer was sentenced to twenty-nine years imprisonment plus a further six on licence for crimes including several counts of sexually abusing childr

New Statesman
In the frame: Osborne's Autumn Statement Translated
By Tom Humberstone - 16 December 13:03

Tom Humberstone's weekly observational comic for the New Statesman.

David Foster Wallace and Jason Segel.
The Cobainification of David Foster Wallace
By John Gallagher - 16 December 12:30

Since his death in 2008, David Foster Wallace has receded beneath a mountain of marginalia and reinterpretation - and with a Hollywood film starring Jason Segel due, we are at risk of losing him forever.

Why do novelists love affairs between professors and students?
By Sarah L Courteau - 11 December 9:16

Teacher-student affairs have captured the minds of many writers, among them David Mamet, Jonathan Franzen, Philip Roth, Christopher Isherwood, J M Coetzee, Zoë Heller, and Susan Choi. What is the fascination?