Why should you read James Joyce’s “Ulysses”?
To many scholars he is still the sublime English poet. To the rest of us, he's the blind bloke who wrote the scarily long and difficult epic about heaven, hell and the failure of the English revolution we were made to read at school. But John Milton, whose 400th...read more
Have you ever loved a book so much you wanted to live in it? I know when I was finished reading Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, I yearned to be a resident in the town of Gilead and smell that fresh Iowan air while gazing at the rich gold landscape. Of course, a version...read more
Books from fifteen countries and fourteen languages make up the latest round of PEN Translates award winners. These include the first novel from Mauritania to be translated into English; novels translated from minority and lesser translated European languages such as...read more
World-renowned poet Adonis and award-winning artist Adel Abdessemed present a record of their passionate conversations in Paris in this collection of letters written between June 2013 and February 2015. Presented exclusively for the first time here in anticipation of...read more
Cairo: the metal detector beeps. The security man wears a crisp white uniform. He nods and leans back in his chair. The lobby’s red oriental carpet, so worn it’s barely red, leads upstairs to the hotel tavern. Enter the glass doors, where a cat in a smart bow tie and...read more
I recall, though my recollection may be faulty, a magnificent article by Giorgio Manganelli explaining how a sophisticated reader can know whether a book is worth reading even before he opens it. He wasn’t referring to the capacity often required of a professional...read more
The Turkish novelist Elif Shafak is to follow Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell and Sjón as one of the 100 contributors to the Future Library, an art project that will only be seen by readers in 2114, when the spruce trees to make its paper have been fully grown.Dreamed...read more
VIS & I is an interior monologue during a harrowing cab ride through the streets of Tehran as Pardis rushes to the airport to stop her lover from leaving. Multiple narrative threads and flashbacks, real and imaginary voices—primarily that of Vis, the heroine of the...read more
Beginning with a canary and ending with a warning from Eurydice, Under-Worldly gives poetic voice to the subterranean. This hybrid poetry collection examines what lies beneath, moving from water pipes in Michigan, to Colorado boomtown mines or to the emotional...read more
The voice of Martha LongFoot takes readers west of Florida’s Suwannee River on a journey of trial and redemption that spans the Jazz Age and Jim Crow, from the comfortable suburbs of New York to the lawless work camps of Florida’s primeval forest.“Darryl Wimberley’s A...read more
I read Tolstoy this year to plug a literary gap unbefitting a book-review editor. Getting started was no easy task. His two pre-eminent novels, “War and Peace” and “ Anna Karenina, ” clock in at more than 1,200 and 800 pages respectively, the former so massive that...read more
In AD 70 Titus, at the head of a Roman army, sacked the Temple in Jerusalem in retaliation for a revolt, and carried away the “Temple vessels”, various impedimenta of worship. These included a large seven-branched candelabrum or menorah. The triumphal arch erected in...read more
Between 1920 and 1921, the poet César Vallejo was in prison in the Peruvian city of Trujillo for alleged participation in civil unrest. From his cell, in addition to impassioned letters to the press appealing for his release, he wrote several poems of the...read more
Sy Montgomery writes of animals, but her work’s hallmark is its humanity. In over 20 books, and in years of field research that have taken her from the realm of snow leopards in the Altai Mountains to the the impenetrable forests of Australia’s cassowaries to the...read more
Dressed in muslin gowns, they sip Assam tea and nibble on cucumber sandwiches. A maid refills the silver teapot while her mistress and her guests discuss the merits of Lyme Regis over Bath. Outside in the garden, trees drip from a recent shower and birds hop on a damp...read more
Sarah Lotz, the somewhat itinerant, decidedly prolific writer of freaky, twisted stories, has just had one of her books optioned for a BBC series. Though she grew up in the UK and has travelled widely, she called South Africa home for many years, until her daughter –...read more
In recent years historians have put forward other more plausible candidates, including Nicolas Fouquet, the powerful superintendent of finances. After being found guilty of treason and corruption, he was imprisoned in the Fortress of Pignerol, the same location where...read more
Like most people I know, I was already having a terrible day Monday. I awoke to news of the worst mass shooting in American history. How do you wrap your head around that? I could lock myself in my room and cry endlessly (and I might yet), but to what end is that...read more
Jack Kerouac ISSUE 11, WINTER 1955 I had bought my ticket and was waiting for the L.A. bus when all of a sudden I saw the cutest little Mexican girl in slacks come cutting across my sight. She was in one of the buses that had just pulled in with a big sigh of air...read more
War baby: the amazing story of Ocean Vuong, former refugee and prize-winning poet | Books | The Guardian
There’s a photograph on the jacket of Ocean Vuong’s debut poetry collection of a small boy sitting on a wooden bench. Encircled by the arms of two women in summery cottons, he gazes steadily at the camera. The elegance is deceptive: it was taken when the family were...read more
Edgar Allan Poe has become part of our cultural furniture in a way few authors have ever managed. In popular imagination, he's the ultimate doomed romantic: a crazed, drug-soaked proto-goth with a baleful raven perched on his shoulder, whose devotees include such...read more
A retired FBI agent has launched a cold case review into identifying those who may have betrayed the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo in 1944.Investigative techniques developed in the past decade, including the crunching of big data to uncover...read more
A few musical notes drifting through the air at a party were all it took to enchant the socialite Charles Swann, a central character in Marcel Proust’s French literary masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu. It was just a “little phrase” from a sonata for piano and...read more
This text is the last thing that Liu Xiaobo, the literary critic, poet, and human rights activist, wrote. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, two years after he was imprisoned for eleven years on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” His “crime”...read more
Eric Hobsbawm was widely acknowledged as the outstanding historian working in the English language of the postwar period. He was never, however, simply a “radical historian,” seeking parallels in the past for his own convictions. Often, he worked against the grain. A...read more
Anne Wiazemsky, French actor, novelist and muse to Jean-Luc Godard, dies aged 70 | Film | The Guardian
Anne Wiazemsky, the actor best known for her appearances in films of the French Nouvelle Vague and marriage to director Jean-Luc Godard, has died aged 70 after a battle with cancer. “Anne died this morning. She had been very sick,” her brother Pierre told AFP.'Godard...read more
The man who wrote The Remains of the Day in the pitch-perfect voice of an English butler is himself very polite. After greeting me at the door of his home in London’s Golders Green, he immediately offered to make me tea, though to judge from his lack of assurance over...read more
HIGH IN THE Rhodope Mountains on the border between Bulgaria and Greece there is a cave called the Devil’s Gorge that Orpheus used to descend into the Underworld. All who follow him vanish. In this same district the mountaintops served as tombs for Thracian kings....read more
VIS & I is an interior monologue during a harrowing cab ride through the streets of Tehran as Pardis rushes to the airport to stop her lover from leaving. Multiple narrative threads and flashbacks, real and imaginary voices—primarily that of Vis, the heroine of the...
Beginning with a canary and ending with a warning from Eurydice, Under-Worldly gives poetic voice to the subterranean. This hybrid poetry collection examines what lies beneath, moving from water pipes in Michigan, to Colorado boomtown mines or to the emotional...
The voice of Martha LongFoot takes readers west of Florida’s Suwannee River on a journey of trial and redemption that spans the Jazz Age and Jim Crow, from the comfortable suburbs of New York to the lawless work camps of Florida’s primeval forest.“Darryl Wimberley’s A...
THE PROPHET is a book of 26 prose poetry essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is Gibran's best known work. The Prophet has been translated into over 40...
“What more is there to know about Paul Bunyan? Plenty, from the logging camps of the late 1800’s to the start of mechanized tree harvesting–and the giant of a man who spanned it all. Darryl Wimberley’s narrative is no mere tall tale but a full-fledged novel, with...
“Is this Heaven’s cloud I sleep on is why my eyes see only white hazy shadows Are you saints floating here? Stop your flight, fair silent beings! Come closer so that I might know your strange faces!” The customized Cessna jet aircraft Sheila Stoffel is piloting...
Sherman Smith’s new novel, GOLDEN CITY ON FIRE, is a true pleasure to read. It is a thriller, written as if you were there – at the time of the Great San Francisco earthquake in 1906. It is as if you were suffering the fire and chaos, the heartbreak of such a tragedy....
Call Me Chameleon: The selective memory of a kaleidoscopic-eyed globetrotter, from age 3 to this day
To write an autobiography is a feat that is difficult, painful, and often feels foreign due to the fact that most of the stories have already been told in various forms through fiction, essays and poetry…
When Noah Johnson begins a light-hearted search for Bigfoot, he has no idea what’s in store for him. The creatures are real and far more intelligent than anyone has yet imagined. Climate change has brought drought, and a forest fire becomes a life-and-death battle for...