Books

Portrait of a youthful Patrick Leigh Fermor in Cretan costume, by Adrian Daintrey (oil on canvas), Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Dashing for the book: A lifetime of letters from Paddy Leigh Fermor

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Justin Marozzi says the letters of Patrick Leigh Fermor are a 20th-century treasure-trove and a feast for admirers of the great man

The Discovery of the Strait of Magellan, by Oswald Walters Brierly (private collection)

The Pacific ocean really was mare incognitum for the early navigators

1 October 2016 9:00 am

In the great Iberian empires of the 16th and 17th centuries, a career was already avail-able in global administration not…

Hopeless Girl

Transit reviewed – the second of Rachel Cusk’s current trilogy

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Rachel Cusk is a writer who provokes strong reactions in her readers, and her critical reputation has swung wildly in…

(Photo: Getty)

Paul Spike’s memoir of the Civil rights movement of the 1960s re-released

1 October 2016 9:00 am

For the first time in living memory, a presidential candidate for a major party has received the enthusiastic endorsement of…

Hectically busy: Beckett in 1976

Samuel Beckett’s letters reveal a fiercely private workoholic

1 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Krapping away here to no little avail,’ writes Beckett to the actor Patrick Magee in September 1969. To ‘no little…

Matthew McConaughey stars as Newton Knight (Photo: Getty)

Seen the film? Now read the book: The Free State of Jones

1 October 2016 9:00 am

In The Cousins’ War (1999), the Republican political strategist Kevin Phillips argued that three ‘civil wars’ had defined politics in…

Marc Bolan of T. Rex, on Top of the Pops, 1973

Does anyone really want to read 650 pages on glam rock?

1 October 2016 9:00 am

This mighty volume begs a question, although it doesn’t ask it, let alone answer it. Does anyone in the known…

Theodor W. Adorno (Photo: Getty)

The Frankfurt School was a place of fearsome seriousness

1 October 2016 9:00 am

One day in April 1969 Theodor Adorno began teaching a new course entitled ‘An Introduction to Dialectical Thinking’. Feel free,…

picture of silhouette

Recent crime fiction

1 October 2016 9:00 am

There are two people in a prison cell: Frank and Hal. One of them is a member of a spy…

Nasser carried through the streets of Port Said after the British evacuation, 1956

Blood and Sand comprehensively destroys what’s left of Anthony Eden’s reputation

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Until it was overtaken by the still more disastrous debacle in Iraq, the Suez Crisis of 1956 was widely judged…

Carlton House Terrace, where Egyptian billionaire Ashraf Marwan allegedly lived (Photo: Getty)

Why are Egyptian businessmen always falling off balconies in London?

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Ashraf Marwan was an Egyptian-born businessman, a son-in-law to Nasser and a political high-flyer in the administration of Sadat, who…

Author Ann Patchett (Photo: Getty)

Free love’s fallout, Ann Patchet’s novel Commonwealth reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Ann Patchett’s new novel is an American family saga involving six children, 50 years and too many coincidences to count.…

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, arrives at Birla House in Mussoorie, India, after fleeing from Tibet, April 1959 (Photo: Getty)

How the Dalai Llama escaped Tibet in 1959

1 October 2016 9:00 am

On the night of 17 March 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama, aged 23, slipped out of the Norbulinka, his summer…

Author Emma Donoghue (Photo: Getty)

Emma Donoghue’s novel The Wonder reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Emma Donoghue’s novel Room was short-listed for the 2010 Man Booker prize and made into a film in 2015. Inspired…

Best of friends: George, Matt and.... Solange (Photo: Getty)

Marie Darrieuuecq’s novel Men reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Marie Darrieussecq shot to literary fame in France when her bestselling debut, Pig Tales (1996), was a finalist for the…

More than just a pretty face: Elizabeth Jane Howard in 1968 with husband Kingsley Amis – the biggest leech of all

Elizabeth Jane Howard and the men who let her down

24 September 2016 9:00 am

D.J. Taylor welcomes a sympathetic and comprehensive new biography of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard

The Limb of Limehouse, from Punch, 1932

Citizen Clem is the biography of a national figure not a Labour man

24 September 2016 9:00 am

History teaches no lessons but we insist on trying to learn from it. There is no political party more sentimental…

Author Amos Oz (Photo: Getty)

Hard thinking in Jerusalem

24 September 2016 9:00 am

‘Here is a story from the winter days of the end of 1959 and the beginning of 1960,’ announces the…

A battle between Crusaders and Muslims from ‘Le Roman de Godfroi de Bouillon’, French School, 14th century

Are the Crusades over? Not for this biographer

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The 12th-century crusader Reynald de Chatillon was one of the most controversial men of his time, and his new biographer…

Author Jay Mcinnerney (Photo: Getty)

Jay McInerney and other 1980s survivors

24 September 2016 9:00 am

It’s 2008 in Manhattan, and there’s still a brief window for the Goldman bankers to swill their ’82 Petrus before…

suitcase

Sitting comfortably? The Good Immigrant will change that

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays about black and ethnic minority experience and identity in Britain today, is inconsistent,…

Supporters of President Erdogan in the aftermath of this summer’s attempted coup

The trouble with Turkey

24 September 2016 9:00 am

I remember an American author once saying she wrote about love and friendship because, after all, these were the fundamental…

Old Photographs

A son’s search for the mother he never met

24 September 2016 9:00 am

To tell this story of his search for a mother lost to mystery in early infancy, its author uses the…

Protesting outside Chicago Police headquarters, 31 December 1915

The American way of murder: investigating the deaths of children and teenagers in the USA

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Picking a day at random, ‘an unremarkable Saturday in America’, the Guardian journalist Gary Younge identified ten children and teenagers…

The eighth-century Codex Amiatinus, executed at Jarrow, shows Christ in Majesty with angels and the Four Evangelists (English School)

Your best chance to see the world’s most beautiful manuscripts

17 September 2016 9:00 am

The world’s greatest illuminated manuscripts are now so fragile they are permanently locked away.Christopher de Hamel provides the next best thing to seeing them for ourselves, says Jonathan Sumption