A South American masterpiece reissued: Zama reviewed

15 July 2017 9:00 am

During the military dictatorships of the 1970s, exile for many Latin American writers was not so much a state of…

Czesław Miłosz in Paris in 2001

Czeslaw Milosz’s highly acclaimed poetry does little for Craig Raine

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Milan Kundera’s novel Immortality wryly depicts Goethe preparing for immortality — neatly laying out his life in Dichtung und Warheit…

A story of three bears — and what it means to be human

25 March 2017 9:00 am

In Yoko Tawada’s surreal and beguiling novel we meet three bears: mother, daughter and grandson. But there will be no…

Julie Christie as Lara in David Lean’s 1965 film

The true story of Dr Zhivago’s Lara

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Between agreeing to review this book and receiving it, I got worried. Like many, I adore Doctor Zhivago with its…

‘The Road to Siberia’ by Sergei Dmitrievich Miloradovich

Siberia: always a byword for despotism

23 July 2016 8:00 am

Owen Matthews on the horrific early history of the largest open-air prison in the world

Portrait of Dante in Giotto’s fresco in the Podestà Chapel, the Bargello, Florence

The secrets of Dante’s marriage

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Unlike Shakespeare, who kept himself out of all his works, except the Sonnets, Dante was endlessly reworking his autobiography, even…

Teffi: from Russia with laughs

21 May 2016 9:00 am

‘Ah! Scrubbing the deck! My childhood dream! As a child I had once seen a sailor hosing the deck with…

‘Exquisitely dressed and groomed, Stefan Zweig looks simply terrified’

Stefan Zweig: the tragedy of a great bad writer

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Stefan Zweig wasn’t, to be honest, a very good writer. This delicious fact was hugged to themselves by most of…

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, by Anya von Bremzen - review

12 October 2013 9:00 am

The early 1990s in Russia were hungry years. At the time, I was a student, too idle to barter and…

'The Shakespeare of the lunatic asylum' - review of The Dostoevsky Archive by Peter Sekirin

22 June 2013 9:00 am

After you decapitate someone, might their severed head continue thinking? Prince Myshkin holds his audience spellbound with this macabre inquiry…