The latest on books and the arts
Rip it up and start again: a kindergarten remains standing on a demolition site in Shaanxi Province. Photo: Reuters
Disappearing villages: the losers in China's breakneck urbanisation
By Isabel Hilton - 06 May 10:33

So rapid has China's development been that at any given moment there are vast, empty proto-cities waiting for people.

Glasgow, from where James Kelman hails. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
A psychological adventure, Scots grit, and a village in sign language
By New Statesman - 06 May 10:22

New books by Louise Stern, James Kelman and Douglas Kennedy.

Larger than life: “Cave is creating a disguise which, ironically, makes him instantly recognisable – and then hiding inside it”. Photo: Brian Rasic / Rex
Tracey Thorn on Nick Cave: man and bogeyman
By Tracey Thorn - 06 May 8:49

Rock's gothic - or comic - bogeyman gives a masterclass in transformation at the Royal Albert Hall.

Nicholas Cage in Spike Jonze’s 2002 film “Adaptation”.
Is it possible to make a good film about writing?
By Oliver Farry - 05 May 12:21

Too often, films are very inarticulate when talking about books. 

“A hell of a start for Rufus Norris”: Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in Everyman at the National Theatre. Photo: Geraint Lewis / Rex
Carol Ann Duffy’s Everyman is mordantly funny – yet poignant
By Mark Lawson - 05 May 10:49

With screen actors taking the lead, Everyman and American Buffalo sparkle with cinematic swagger.

Miller (left) and Bellow (center) in New York. Photo: © Inge Morath Foundation
When Saul Bellow and Arthur Miller were neighbours
By Leo Robson - 04 May 10:56

They crossed paths while living close together in Reno - but the two heavyweights differed more than shared.

Two women pass a bridge destroyed by Serb artillery fire (1994). Photo: ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Image
Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals takes Waugh to Bosnia
By Mark Lawson - 04 May 10:50

The first novel from Thick of It writer Jesse Armstrong addresses the morality of foreign intervention with jokes, slapstick - and a student play.

Gideon and his box of tricks. Photo: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images
Regressive politics: George Osborne wants to shrink the state to pre-1945 levels
By Peter Hain - 04 May 10:47

Mr Osborne's Economic Experiment reveals the chancellor's tricks.

Flying aces: Soviet air force officers decorated after serving in the Second World War.
From Bletchley girls to Russian aces: the forgotten women at war
By Erica Wagner - 04 May 10:46

This is real feminist history - work which was unheralded not just because it was top secret, but because women did it.

A man walks past parliament, reflected in a puddle. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Why do so many governments achieve so little?
By Andrew Adonis - 04 May 10:44

New books by Anthony King and Michael Barber invite us to assess - and act.

Pulling the strings. Picture: Tina Modotti/AKG-Images
Rowan Williams: can we ever be in charge of our own lives?
By Rowan Williams - 04 May 10:35

The debate over freedom is a complex, extended one.

Perfect wavelengths: the new Blur album is a smooth blend of separate interests. Photo: LINDA BROWNLEE (BLUR), REX
Big audio bounceback: new albums by Blur and The Prodigy reviewed
By Kate Mossman - 01 May 8:28

The Albarn-Coxon concoction sounds surprisingly robust.

Pendle hill. Photo: Wikimedia commons
“On Approaching Pendle Hill”: a new poem by Ben Myers
By Ben Myers - 30 April 14:10

The path up to Pendle. The sleeping beast. The purple skies.

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