Samantha Ellis

Reflections on water in the Middle East

These Bodies of Water begins dramatically (as befits a book derived from Sabrina Mahfouz’s Royal Court show A History of Water in the Middle East) in a stuffy little room in Whitehall where the author is being interrogated by a man in a beige mac who is vetting her for top security clearance. It all

Telling tales | 31 December 2015

Medea says ‘hiiiiiiii’ on the first page of Mallory Ortberg’s hilarious book, which puts smartphones in the hands of literary heroes, heroines and their writers; ‘it’s Glauce right??’, Medea continues, squealing ‘when is the WEDDING/ I hope you guys have the Argonauts as groomsmen/ and they do the sword thing/ you know where they make

The song of the sirens

The first mermaid we meet in this intriguing, gorgeously produced book is spray-painted in scarlet on a wall in Madrid, holding a heart not a mirror. Not your average mermaid, then; but as the folklorist and playwright Sophia Kingshill delves further into their complex cultural history, it becomes clear there’s no such thing. Mermaids can