Books

Albert Camus photographed at home in 1947

The sheer strangeness of Albert Camus’s imagination

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Looking for the Outsider is the biography of a novel, from conception through publication to critical reception. Alice Kaplan’s life-story…

angelacarter

Angela Carter: a seminal novelist who changed writing and the world

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Philip Hensher celebrates the breathtaking imagination — and dottiness — of the seminal writer Angela Carter and deeply mourns her early death

Israelis compete in a giant Tetris tournament in Rabin Square,Tel Aviv, in August

Is Tetris the greatest video game of all time?

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Everyone has played it, or one of its manifold variations and rip-offs. Blocks of different shapes fall from the sky;…

Rory Stewart in the Borders, Copyright Shoshana Stewart

Rory Stewart spares no pains in getting to know his constituents

8 October 2016 9:00 am

When it comes to speaking of foreign affairs, Rory Stewart is one of the few MPs who does not peddle…

A Special Air Service jeep patrol is greeted by its commander David Stirling on its return from the desert in January 1943

Stirling work with the SAS

8 October 2016 9:00 am

The SAS was the first unit to be granted regimental status for generations. Its chief aim was to damage the…

The Fact and Fiction Bookshop in New Delhi, once a favourite of Pankaj Mishra

Browsing in bookshops: one of life’s great pleasures

8 October 2016 9:00 am

It is not uncommon for writers to be obsessed by bookshops. Some even find their writing feet through loving a…

Lenin on the train to Petrograd. Drawing by Pyotr Vasilievich Vasiliev

Lenin’s long train ride into history

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Full allowance must be made for the desperate tasks to which the German war leaders were already committed… Nevertheless it…

Hurstbourne Park, the Earl of Portsmouth’s family home in Hampshire, provided the only protection and stability in his life

The fascinating, disturbing tale of the mad Earl of Portsmouth

8 October 2016 9:00 am

The 55-year-old ’flu-ridden John Charles Wallop, 3rd Earl of Portsmouth, his feet in a basin of warm water, shivered in…

The ruins of the temple at Karnak by David Roberts

Unlocking the spell of the pharaohs

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Here’s a book to make an Egyptologist of everyone. A compendium of accepted gen on the gift of the Nile,…

mens-club_spec-08-october_post

Men behaving badly in suburban California

8 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Leonard Michaels (1933–2003) was one of the most admired and influential American writers of the last half century,’ states the…

Nell Zink - Copyright Fred Filkorn

Nell Zink’s much-hyped ‘genius’ is looking decidedly underused

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Nell Zink’s route to publication became something of a story in itself: one that involved an email exchange about birds…

hitler_spec-08-october_post

Blitzkrieg and Benzedrine: the German High Command were all as high as kites

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Norman Ohler is rather hard on the Nazis, for compared to what our little group got up to in the…

Helen Gurley Brown at her desk at Cosmopolitan c. 1965

Helen Gurley Brown: from ugly duckling to Cosmopolitan queen

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Helen Gurley Brown’s internationally influential career, as the author of Sex and the Single Girl and editor of Cosmopolitan, is…

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.…