Lee Langley

Author Nina Stibbe (Photo: Getty)

Chaos among the commodes in Nina Stibbe’s old folks’ home

28 May 2016 9:00 am

A card in a shop window — ‘non-unionised, auxiliary nurses sought… 35p per hour. Ideal for outgoing compassionate females’ —…

Author Tahmima Anam (Photo: Getty)

Losers in the game of life

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Mysteries abound here — enigmas of identity and betrayal, long-buried secret transactions leading to quests — for a lost child,…

Author Javier Marias (Photo: Getty)

Javier Marías's Thus Bad Begins: A touch of Vertigo in post-Franco Madrid

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The title comes from Hamlet but the spirit that hovers over the pages of Javier Marías’s new novel is —…

Jhumpa Lahiri (Photo: Getty)

Jhumpa Lahiri's new tongue

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Imagine you’re an unknown young writer whose first collection of stories wins the Pulitzer prize. Your first novel is filmed,…

The Beatles arrive back to London after their Australian tour, 1964.  (Photo: Getty)

John Lennon’s desert island luxury

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Beatlebone is an account of a journey, a psychedelic odyssey, its protagonist — at times its narrator — John Lennon,…

Author Ken Kalfus (Photo: Getty)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and other characters to make you cry with laughter

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Coup de Foudre has a line from Antony and Cleopatra as its epigraph: ‘Some innocents ’scape not the thunderbolt.’ In…

Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas (Photo: Getty)

Social comedy Peruvian-style

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Mario Vargas Llosa likes to counterpoint his darker novels with rosier themes: after the savagery of The Green House came…

Algerian author Boualem Sansa Photo: Getty

Women in the various hells of Algiers

29 November 2014 9:00 am

On the surface Harraga is the story of two ill-matched women colliding dramatically, with life-changing consequences. What emerges, in throwaway…


A novel that will make you want to call social services

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Nina Stibbe has a way with children. Her first book, a memoir, was a deceptively wide-eyed view of a literary…


A lost treasure of Japanese fiction – pocket-sized but world class

17 May 2014 9:00 am

Think haiku, netsuke, moss gardens… Small is beautiful. Japanese art, a scholar of the culture once commented, is great in…


Who’s raiding the fridge?

3 May 2014 9:00 am

There is a problem with describing what happens in Nagasaki: impossible to reveal much of the plot without flagging up…

(Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty)

A Mughal Disneyland and a ripping yarn

19 April 2014 9:00 am

Mysore, once the capital of a princely kingdom in South India, has lost its lustre. In Mahesh Rao’s darkly comic…

'The Infatuations', by Javier Marías - review

9 March 2013 9:00 am

A café in Madrid. From her table across the room a solitary woman watches an attractive couple share breakfast morning…


Bookends: Short and sweet

11 February 2012 9:00 am

Before texts and Twitter there were postcards. Less hi-tech, but they kept people in touch. Angela Carter (pictured above) and…

Wool of bat and lizard leg

16 July 2011 12:00 am

When Julia Blackburn and her Dutch husband Herman move into an old village house perched on a cliff high above the Italian Ligurian Riviera they become part of a dwindling community in a landscape of forests and deserted villages with roofless ruins almost swallowed up by the riotous undergrowth.


Living dolls

22 January 2011 12:00 am

Born in Japan, growing up in America in the Sixties, Yoko Kawaguchi was perplexed by the persistence of what she felt to be an anachronistic image of Japanese culture: the geisha.


Indian snakes and ladders

17 March 2010 12:00 am

Award-winning poet Ruth Padel established her prose credentials with her autobiographical travel book, Tigers in Red Weather.

Beyond the guidebook

15 July 2009 12:00 am

Between the Assassinations is to summer reading what Slum-dog Millionaire was to feelgood movies: the book, like the film, beneath…

Sounding a different note

20 May 2009 12:00 am

Midsummer Nights, edited by Jeanette Winterson


On the waterfront

1 April 2009 12:00 am

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, by Geoff Dyer

Troubled waters

21 January 2009 12:00 am

Empires of the Indus, by Alice Albinia

Stepping-stones of his past self

10 September 2008 12:00 am

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, by Paul Theroux

A romantic looks back

24 May 2007 9:41 am

The unending journey of this book takes Mark Tully from slums to skyscrapers as he explores the past, present and…

Tomb raider

12 April 2007 8:12 am

Following in the footsteps of a famous French Egyptologist

A marvel in marble

28 March 2007 2:55 pm

The Moghul monarchs’ way of life was an extravaganza of such breathtaking splendour that in comparison the Sun King’s Versailles…