Lucasta Miller

A long goodbye to Berlin

Christopher Isherwood pioneered what is now known as ‘autofiction’ long before it acquired that label. His best known work, Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which later inspired the musical Cabaret, was based on the diaries he kept while living in the Weimar Republic in his twenties. He’d already used the material before in Mr Norris Changes

W.G. Sebald’s borrowed truths and barefaced lies

W.G. Sebald is the modern master of the uncanny — or perhaps that should be ‘was’, as he died in a car crash near Norwich in 2001 at the age of 57. Deciding which tense to use depends on whether you mean ‘W.G. Sebald’ as a shorthand for his body of work, which outlives him,

Lives unlived: Light Perpetual, by Francis Spufford, reviewed

Francis Spufford was already admired as a non-fiction writer when he published his prize-winning first novel, On Golden Hill, in 2016. Set in 18th-century America, it was a tour de force of historical imagining, its prose skilfully suffused with the writerly tics of that era yet not overly so, leaving it pedantry-free and compulsively readable.

Rushdie at his best – Quichotte reviewed

It’s hard to get your head around Salman Rushdie’s latest novel Quichotte, which has been shortlisted for the Booker. It’s a literary embarras de richesse, whose centre can’t really hold, yet it’s written with the brilliant bravura of a writer who can really, really write. More to the point, it’s also funny and touching and