The latest on books and the arts


New Statesman
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 10 September 15:00

The critics' verdicts on Charlotte Mendelson, Daniel M Davis, David Shields and Shane Salerno, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Ruth Ozeki.
Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist announced
By Critic - 10 September 10:51

Robert Macfarlane and his team of judges have announced the six books on the Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2013.

A still from Neill Blomkamp's new film Elysium.
Do even anti-segregation films have no roles for women?
By Sian Lawson - 07 September 8:36

Whether it is done as intentionally as in <em>Elysium</em> or not, films and TV series form part of a lens that shows us distorted refractions of our world.

New Statesman
Friday Arts Diary
By Joe Iles - 06 September 16:38

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.

How are rape jokes different from murder jokes? Let me count the ways
By Sophia McDougall - 06 September 12:58

If murder was so common that in any medium-sized mixed group I could be pretty sure someone there had been directly affected by murder, you are damn right I wouldn’t make any jokes about murder, writes Sophia McDougall.

What ever happened to snuff?
By Ben Duckworth - 05 September 12:58

Snuff hit Britain at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Ben Duckworth discovers that it never really left.

Comrade Picasso: The man and the political myth
By Jonathan Vernon - 02 September 12:55

Pablo Picasso has long been hailed as an ardent member of the left and an advocate for peace. New research into his relationship to the Franco regime suggests the need for revision, and an examination of our motives.

Does Aaron Sorkin have a woman problem?
By Sarah Hughes - 02 September 11:17

In the space of three shows - <em>Sports Night, Studio 60</em> and now <em>The Newsroom</em> - Aaron Sorkin's female television executives have gone from clever and competent to ditsy and childish. What's going on?

Was the downfall of Richard III caused by a strawberry?
By Amy Licence - 31 August 9:23

The king's actions in the summer of 1483, when he unexpectedly put aside his twelve-year-old nephew and became King of England, are considered to be out of character. Could a food allergy have triggered the series of events that lead to the fall of the Ho

New Statesman
In the Frame: Previously
By Tom Humberstone - 30 August 16:36

Tom Humberstone's observational comic for the New Statesman.

Seamus Heaney dies aged 74
By Caroline Crampton - 30 August 11:24

The Irish poet and Nobel laureate has died.

New Statesman
In the Critics this week | 30 August 2013
By Joe Iles - 30 August 10:30

Laura Miller on <em>Downton Abbey</em>, Felix Martin on economics, Ed Smith on the role of genetics in sport and much more.

Friday Arts Diary | 30 August 2013
By Irfan Allana - 30 August 9:51

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.

Reviews Round-up: Atwood, Wolitzer and Danahar
By new-statesman - 28 August 11:56

The critics' verdict on Atwood, Wolitzer, Danahar and Ripley

Electronic music is dominating pop, bringing brilliant female artists with it
By Elliot Davies - 28 August 11:11

With Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Robyn, La Roux, M.I.A and Janelle Monae, we just see further examples of women excelling at electronic music – just like they always have.

The Castle Doctrine is a morally bankrupt game, so why do I want to keep playing?
By Edward Smith - 28 August 10:31

The game's message might be repellent, but we should be wary of drawing a line too soon. Today's independent games are a rebellious force against fiercely Republican AAA games, and we should encourage that.

Readers in a library in Beijing.
Books in Brief: Svetlana Alpers, Paul Danahar and Meg Wolitzer
By Philip Maughan - 28 August 6:00

Three new books you may have missed.

Schloss Grafenegg, the sixteenth century castle which hosts the festival.
The Grafenegg Festival: A programme as eclectic as its quirky castle venue
By Alexandra Coghlan - 27 August 16:41

Alexandra Coghlan takes a trip to Austria to sample the delights of this year's Grafenegg Festival, curated by the pianist Rudolf Buchbinder.

New Statesman
In the Frame: Life of an Egg
By Tom Humberstone - 23 August 8:44

Tom Humberstone's observational comic for the New Statesman.

La Procure.
Books in Brief: Giovanni Frazzetto, Robin Blackburn and David Marsh
By Philip Maughan - 22 August 7:00

Three new books you may have missed.

Yael Farber: “I find it very deadening not to be engaging with things that are difficult or emotional”
By Hope Whitmore - 21 August 11:56

An interview with the director of <em>Nirbhaya</em>, a new play about the Delhi rape case that shocked the world.

"The art of the people": how comics got political
By Laura Sneddon - 21 August 11:34

"I think ideas are the real villains in politics and the world generally."

The Stuart Hall Project.
The Stuart Hall Project celebrates the cultural crusades of an important historian
By Jonathan Brick - 16 August 14:45

Jonathan Brick on a new film about Stuart Hall, the lecturer and academic born in Jamaica who found a home in British academia but not Britain itself.

Ben Blow and Rowan Winter.
At the Edinburgh Fringe: Engels! The Karl Marx Story and The Confessions of Gordon Brown
By Stephen Brasher - 15 August 17:08

Karl Marx and Gordon Brown unravel on stage in two political gems at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

Pepper Potts, in a screengrab from Iron Man 3.
I hate Strong Female Characters
By Sophia McDougall - 15 August 12:57

Sherlock Holmes gets to be brilliant, solitary, abrasive, Bohemian, whimsical, brave, sad, manipulative, neurotic, vain, untidy, fastidious, artistic, courteous, rude, a polymath genius. Female characters get to be Strong.

Desert Island Discs: 66 years young
By Simon Parkin - 15 August 12:13

Simon Parkin looks back at 66 years of a British institution.

Verbier's 20th anniversary: a festival of encounters and collisions
By Alexandra Coghlan - 14 August 12:47

The Swiss Verbier Festival does epic, polyphonous music well - but it's real gift is for intimate chamber recitals.

Payday 2.
Heist to meet you: the compulsive thieves of gaming
By Phil Hartup - 13 August 14:58

Phil Hartup asks what makes a heist game truly great.

Jade Raymond
Jade Raymond: Triple-A videogames can still be innovative
By Alex Hern - 13 August 11:54

Alex Hern speaks to the all-star producer and lead of the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist about upstart indie gamers, the polygons of emotion - and the new Spies vs Mercs mode.