The latest on books and the arts
Nuns cleaning their church for Easter in Caltanissetta, Sicily. Photo: Getty
A holy mess: the ongoing sacred soap opera of Radio Maria in Sicily
By Antonia Quirke - 18 September 9:20

In southern Sicily you often hear Maria in the background in shops, like an ongoing soap opera: the live Mass from Medjugorje, where there have been apparitions of the Madonna since 1981, or the replaying of news from Radio Vaticana.

An aerial view of London at night. Photo: Getty
Will Self: If you want to see London with completely new eyes, take a night-hike out of town
By Will Self - 18 September 8:09

We sought out the high point, and there it was: the panorama we’d been seeking.

Reviews round-up | 17 September
By New Statesman - 17 September 17:00

The critics’ verdicts on Ian McEwan’s The Children Act, A N Wilson’s Victoria: A Life and Elena Ferrante’s Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.

A painting of Richard III by an unknown artist in the National Portrait Gallery. Photo: Getty
How Richard III really died
By Sarah Hainsworth - 17 September 10:06

Nine blows to the head and then he was gone: modern forensic techniques applied to the newly-discovered skeleton of Richard III have been able to suggest how he died for the first time.

The power of progress: Paul Delaroche’s The Conquerors of the Bastille Before the Hôtel de Ville in 1789 (1839). Photo: Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée du Petit-Palais, France/Bridgeman Images
How liberalism lost its way
By David Marquand - 17 September 9:33

What happened to a defining world-view? David Marquand examines the religious roots of an ideology.

Warner's new book is set in 1980s student London. Photo: Gwydion M Williams/Flickr
A literary Withnail and I: Alan Warner’s Their Lips Talk of Mischief
By Yo Zushi - 15 September 12:41

The latest novel by the author of Morvern Callar is set in a boozy, 1980s student London.

Jack's fine lad: Tom Priestley in his London flat, photographed in August 2014. Photo: Felicity McCabe for New Statesman
Out of the wilderness: how J B Priestley is enjoying a revival
By Valerie Grove - 15 September 10:03

As a “grumbling and growling” columnist for the NS, J B Priestley inspired the formation of CND. Now, 30 years after his death, his only son tells Valerie Grove why his once neglected work is making a comeback. 

A woman cheers on a team during the Hipster Olympics in Berlin. Photo: Getty
Will Self: The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over
By Will Self - 15 September 10:00

Our generation is to blame – we’re the ones who took the avant-garde and turned it into a successful rearguard action by the flying columns of capitalism’s blitzkrieg.

Visitors to the Naturkunde in Berlin will see "wisps of fin, or claw" among the wet collection's million exhibits
Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde: a golden space of alien faces
By John Burnside - 15 September 10:00

The museum’s wet collection is the museum’s most memorable feature. It contains “around one million zoological objects in 276,000 vials, preserved in 81,880 litres of ethanol”.

© Laura Dodsworth
Bare Reality: Breasts make you feel like a proper woman
By Bare Reality - 15 September 9:00

An excerpt from Bare Reality, a project to further understanding of how women really feel about their breasts, and how they really look.

A mind for crime: Agatha Christie at home, 1949. Photo: Popperfoto
Mark Lawson: inside the business of Agatha Christie Ltd
By Mark Lawson - 12 September 16:13

The death of an author doesn’t necessarily mean the death of their characters. Hercule Poirot is the latest sleuth to come back for an encore. 

“The Riot Club” is based on Laura Wade’s Bullingdon Club-based Royal Court play “Posh”.
The Riot Club’s portrayal of a restaurant-smashing Oxbridge elite lacks political bite
By Conrad Landin - 12 September 15:52

The film, adapted from Laura Wade’s Bullingdon Club-based play Posh, fails to address the fact that it isn’t just the restaurant-smashers who benefit from Oxbridge elitism.

Does even he get nervous? President Obama appears on US chatshow The View. Photo: Getty
Tracey Thorn: interviews can be just as terrifying for the celebrity
By Tracey Thorn - 12 September 13:06

We don’t know what to expect: whether they want us to be garrulous or mysterious; live up to our image or confound it; be starry or down to earth.

The guts to fight the power: Roxane Gay. Photo: Jennifer Silverberg/The Guardian
Does it matter if you’re a “bad feminist”? Roxane Gay doesn’t think so
By Helen Lewis - 12 September 12:52

Reading Roxane Gay comes as a relief – as being involved in feminism can sometimes feel more like voluntarily climbing into the stocks than participating in a social movement.

In the Frame: Haven’t I Got Satire for You
By Tom Humberstone - 12 September 10:55

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.