Leïla Slimani: To watch over them
Stifled by young motherhood, Myriam Charfa recruits the perfect nanny and resumes her legal career. From the chillling Prix Goncourt winning thriller Lullaby.


Melanie Benjamin: Flickers of memory
In 1969, a hesitant Frances Marion pays a visit to her former collaborator, silent screen star Mary Pickford. From The Girls in the Picture.


Many a woman scorned
Karin Salvalagio talks to Sarah Vaughan about Anatomy of a Scandal, her timely novel about sexual politics, victimhood, loyalty and doubt.


Vesna Main: The hair clasp
A woman and her daughter’s visit to the beach brings devastation and distraction. From the debut collection Temptation: A User’s Guide.

Rusudan Rukhadze: Dad after Mum
Cherished memories of a fading parent and a distant Georgian summer, from the new collection The Book of Tbilisi.


Antti Tuomainen: Beyond noir
The author of The Man Who Died reflects on his switch from straight noir to black comedy, and tells Mark Reynolds about his key influences.


Angry young, frail old man
Sunny Singh, author of Amitabh Bachchan in the BFI Film Stars series, picks her personal favourites among the Bollywood icon’s 200+ films.


The world that watches
Mika Provata-Carlone praises A Chill in the Air, a previously unpublished slice of Iris Origo’s remarkable war diaries, written  as Mussolini drags Italy into conflict.

Near death – and resurrection
Sunny Singh recalls the national panic as India’s No.1 star has a life-threatening accident on set. From BFI Film Stars: Amitabh Bachchan.

All, nothing and everything in between
Mika Provata-Carlone weighs up Mojca Kumerdej’s The Harvest of Chronos, a bold, ambitious, multilayered novel about Slovenian identity.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a classic
A selection of images from the V&A’s captivating new exhibition of Pooh drawings, manuscripts, memorabilia and interactive installations.


A perpetual advent calendar
Mika Provata-Carlone presents a seasonal round-up of children’s books for all ages and tastes, packed with fun, solace and wisdom.


Minoo Dinshaw: Picking a subject
The author of Outlandish Knight, a biography of Steven Runciman, explains how he was drawn to the life of the great medieval historian.


Sally Rooney: Down to a T
The author of Conversations with Friends, winner of the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer Award, answers our quickfire Q&A.


A bear in a million
Paddington 2 is the pick of the latest film releases, The Killing of a Sacred Deer hits the spot, and Kenneth Brannagh’s Orient Express gets stuck in the sidings, writes Mark Reynolds.


Lilja Sigurðardóttir: Caught in a trap
Karin Salvalaggio is entranced by Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Snare, the first in a startlingly original new crime trilogy.

Lina Meruane: Blood in the eye
The author of Seeing Red talks to Mark Reynolds about fictionalising an episode of blindness to explore heightened senses and emotions.

Claire Messud: Craft and fusion
The author of The Burning Girl tells Alex-Peake Tomkinson about returning themes in her fiction and riffing on adolescence and friendship.


1947_290Unquiet spirits

Mika Provata-Carlone admires Elisabeth Åsbrink’s 1947: Where Now Begins; an incisive commentary on the roots of contemporary society.

Flowers in a jam jar
Mika Provata-Carlone reviews Giorgio van Straten’s In Search of Lost Books, “an eloquent, philosophical display of exceptional absences.”

An absence full of presence
Mark Mazower’s family history What You Did Not Tell is a rhapsodic inquiry that leaves some big questions hanging, says Mika Provata-Carlone.

A.M. Bakalar: The devil you know
A joyful puzzle webbed in truth and lies: Mirjana Novaković’s Fear and His Servant conjures up 18th-century Serbia under Austrian rule.

Brett Marie: Written in my soul
A new collection of 100 of Bob Dylan’s best lyrics confirms the Nobel committee were right to award him literature’s biggest prize.

Oliver Tearne: Having words in Manchester
How physician Peter Mark Roget introduced a digressive system for writing and reflection, and became synonymous with his popular creation. From Britain by the Book.

Mika Provata-Carlone: The truth of the lie
How Javier Cercas’ biographical novel The Impostor, about alleged Nazi victim Enric Marco illuminates the nature of history and fiction.

A.M. Bakalar: Us and them
The author of Children of Our Time reflects on her politically charged tale of Polish immigrants embroiled in people trafficking.

The_Evenings_featureSam Garrett: Boy wanderer
Sam Garrett reflects on the thirty-five years spanning his first reading and subsequent translation of Gerard Reve’s postwar Dutch classic The Evenings.

Stilted life
Mika Provata-Carlone unravels Nicola Lagioia’s Strega Prize-winning novel Ferocity and finds its bold ambition undermined by stereotype and unfulfilled salvation.

Luke McCallin: In the zone
How the author researched the daily grind for Allies and locals among the rubble and chaos of post-war Germany for the new Gregor Reinhardt novel The Ashes of Berlin.


Magritte: This is not a biography
Extract from Vincent Zabus and Thomas Campi’s graphic journey through Magritte’s imaginative landscape, a joyous mix of fact and fiction.

Harry Potter: A history of magic
Mystical manuscripts and paranormal paraphernalia from the British Library’s enchanting new exhibition.

Darryl Cunningham: Graphic science
Sample pages from his hand-drawn celebration of seven unsung heroes of science, depicting the life of fossil-hunter Mary Anning.


Tom Browne: Laughter in the dark
Why Armando Iannucci’s brilliant new comedy The Death of Stalin gets closer to historical accuracy than any number of heritage dramas.

Tove Jansson: Taking an interest in the meerschaum tram
Prologue to The Memoirs of Moominpappa, now published for the first time in the UK in a stunning series of Moomins collectors’ editions.


Jen Campbell: Bright white hearts
Ruminations on mermaids, colour, fluoresence, invisibility, evolution, identity and love within the walls and tanks of the aquarium. From the collection The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night.

Agnieszka Dale: A happy nation
Krystyna Kowalska, the last Polish person left in Britain, is interviewed at home by an all-too familiar immigration officer.

Hassan Blasim: “Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.”
An Iraqi immigrant in Finland confronts his violent past. From the anthology The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat, edited by Sjón and Ted Hodgkinson.


Tony Williams: Learning from the masters
The author of Nutcase explains how Icelandic sagas helped shape his novel about a young vigilante growing up on a Sheffield sink estate.


Srephanie Hutton: What to do when you can’t do anything
A mother explodes in hopeless rage as her three-year-old daughter clings to life on a hospital ward. From The Mechanics’ Institute Review.

Peter Ackroyd: The first killings
What could link the gruesome murders of a young prostitute and a Jewish scholar in Victorian London? Extract from The Limestone Golem, now a major film starring Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth and Olivia Cooke.


Jia Pingwa: It must be love
Happy Liu invites beloved prostitute Yichun to his less than humble lodgings. Extract from Happy Dreams, translated by Nicky Harman.

Pajtim Statovci: The whiskered stranger
An encounter with a sleek, alluring, intolerant talking feline who appears to have come to a gay bar by mistake. From My Cat Yugoslavia.


A study in scarlet
Sample pages from a new graphic novel edition of Sherlock Holmes’ first case, interpreted by Ian Edgington and I.N.J. Culbard via Arthur Conan Doyle.


Navid Kermani: Lamentation
A study of the pietà at St Kunibert, Cologne from his captivating appraisal of Christian art and iconography Wonder Beyond Belief.

Nicky Harman: Never happier
“Translation is the art of negotiation and compromise'” says the translator of Jia Pingwa’s contemporary Chinese satire Happy Dreams.

Under the sign of eternity
Georgia Blain’s final book The Museum of Words is a powerful and evocative private essay on the end of being, writes Mika Provata-Carlone.

Adventures of the imagination
Julia Bell introduces the latest story anthology in the annual Mechanics’ Institute Review, curated by Birkbeck Creative Writing  students.

The life-lie
Mika Provata-Carlone finds echoes of Tony Harrison in Kerstin Hensel’s startling emotional journey of moral conscience Dance by the Canal.

The unbearable burden of non-being
Mika Provata-Carlone admires Żanna Słoniowska’s The House with the Stained-Glass Window, an intricate, opulent tale of lived lives in Lviv.

Fyodor Dostoevsky: A lie is saved by a lie
How Don Quixote proves that a crude fantasy, lovingly embraced, resolves doubt. From The Russian Soul: Selections from A Writer’s Diary.

An Amazon dreaming of Arcadia
Mika Provata-Carlone finds drama and dignity in Chantel Acevedo’s The Living Infinite, examining the early life of Infanta Eulalia of Spain.

Gall and barefaced daring
Helen Garner introduces Barbara Baynton’s classic story collection Bush Studies. From the essay collection Everywhere I Look.

The malediction of Minerva
Mika Provata-Carlone embraces The Last Attachment, Iris Origo’s painstaking account of Lord Byron’s passionate affair with Teresa Guiccioli.

Disquiet revisited
Margaret Jull Costa introduces her new translation of the definitive Complete Edition of  Fernando Pessoa’s masterwork The Book of Disquiet.

Message in two suitcases
Mika Provata-Carlone finds Ernest van der Kwast’s Mama Tandoori a witty, vital and tender portrait of dual culture and identity in the Indian-spiced Netherlands.

The Leica way
Lars Mytting’s The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is a delicate weave of stark simplicity and mesmeric complexity, writes Mika Provata-Carlone.


Kate Murray-Browne: Buyer beware!
The author of The Upstairs Room tells Alex Peake-Tomkinson about finding horror in the everyday and the terrors of moving house.

Iosi Havilio: Getting away with it
The Argentinian author talks to Mark Reynolds about Petite Fleur, his feverishly dark comic novel about serial murder and domesticity.

Diksha Basu: On the money
The author of The Windfall discusses Delhi society, sudden wealth, social climbing, marriage, citizenship and patriotism with Farhana Gani.

Olivia Sudjic: Between dreams
The author of Sympathy tells Mark Reynolds how an investigation into 17th-century pseudoscience led to an unsettling satire on hyperconnectivity and identity.

Samanta Schweblin: Passion and terror
The author of Fever Dream talks about facing your demons, psychoanalysis, screenwriting, translation and being a contender for the Man Booker International Prize.

Hari Kunzru: Between the grooves
The author of White Tears chats to Alex Peake-Tomkinson about musical appropriation and race relations in New York City and Essex.

Juliet West: Back to black
Claire Fuller quizzes the author of The Faithful about approaching a love story set against the backdrop of the UK’s 1930s fascist movement.


Santorini_featureSHORT STORIES
Barbara Baynton: The chosen vesssel
An intruder lurks as a woman cradles her baby in an undefendable shack. Classic Australian horror from the 1902 collection Bush Studies.

Mary Gaitskill: Description
Old friends on a mountain hike confront home truths, health scares and deep-seated rivalries. From the new story collection Don’t Cry.

Jim Shepard: Cretan love song
A moment of clarity, compassion and companionship in the face of the catastrophic Minoan eruption of Thera. From the collection The World to Come.


Enduring grief
P.K Lynch, author of Wildest of All, chooses books and films that combine sorrow and humanity to help us understand life’s pains and losses.

Going it alone
Marking publication of her frank, funny and affecting memoir My Shitty Twenties, Emily Morris picks her favourite single mums in literature.

Nick Laird: Summer at Sheep’s Head
On a city break from his West Cork retreat, the author of Modern Gods discusses his writing habits, influences and inspirations.


Naomi Hamill: The first bride
In the aftermath of war, making marriages is one of the first steps towards a new normality. From How to Be a Kosovan Bride.

Emily R. Austin: Not selling anything
Taking the rise out of her dead-end call centre job gives slim respite from Jane’s darkest memories, doubts and fears. From Oh Honey.

Antoine Laurain: Under the hammer
Obsessive collector Pierre-François Chaumont resolves to own an 18th-century painting whose subject bears an uncanny resemblance to himself. From The Portrait.

Marie-Sabine Roger: Doctor’s Orders
A groggy Jean-Pierre Fabre wakes up in hospital with only a sketchy memory of how he came to be fished from the Seine. From Get Well Soon.


Abu Ghraib_featureWhat’s in a picture

Sarah Sentilles examines the power of photography to shape and distort our views on war and persecution. From Draw Your Weapons.

A biblical paradise
“A hypnotic, erudite and riveting analysis of why we lose and find ourselves in the pages of books.” Mika Provata-Carlone admires Damon Young’s The Art of Reading.

Curious about curiosity
From Batman to Borges, keeping a sense of childlike wonder and bending to the writer’s will aid understanding. From The Art of Reading.

Suspicious country
Extract from Nina Riggs’ posthumous memoir The Bright Hour, a bold, poetic, wise and affirmative meditation on living with terminal illness.

Elegy in E minor
Mika Provata-Carlone relishes Madame Bovary of the Suburbs, Sophie Divry’s languid yet full-bodied contemporary recalibration of Flaubert.

Every way out
The 2017 Polari First Book Prize shortlist throws up eclectic and provocative fact and fiction about the LGBT experience from Cardiff to Kuwait.

Never a dull word
Translator Gini Alhadeff marvels at the powerful economy of Fleur Jaeggy’s prose in her long-awaited new collection I Am the Brother of XX, together with an exquisite extract: Cat.

In the shadow of Poe
Poe scholar and genre writer Chuck Caruso, whose debut crime novel The Lawn Job is just out, tracks the influence of the master of mystery on Conan Doyle, Christie, Hammett, Highsmith and more.

Gila Lustiger: It is us they burn
Extract from the award-winning essay ‘We Are Not Afraid’ in response to the Paris terror attacks, linking the events to the 2005 youth riots.


The summer Smiley saved me
On the release of her new novel Yuki Means Happiness, Alison Jean Lester reflects on a solitary time in Taiwan when she devoured the works of le Carré.

Catherine Banner: Innocents uncovered
The author of The House at the Edge of Night recounts how a visit to Florence’s 15th-century foundling hospital – the Ospedale degli Innocenti – sparked her new novel.


S.V. Berlin: Best intentions
“Think like a psychologist or serial killer profiler.” The author of debut novel The Favourite, a twisting tale of sibling rivalry, shares her tips for aspiring writers.


Reality check
Clare’s new boyfriend is creepily overprotective. Extract from Melanie Joosten’s Berlin Syndrome, now a tense psychosexual thriller directed by Cate Shortland and starring Teresa Palmer.


After shock
In a talk at the Southbank Centre, No Is Not Enough author Naomi Klein explains why burnt-out Grenfell Tower is a monument to neoliberalism.

Alpine dreams
Mika Provata-Carlone examines the twisting, self-inflicted nightmares of a tormented writer in Daniel Kehlmann’s You Should Have Left.

A dream of good fortune
Mika Provata-Carlone finds Korean master Hwang Sok-yong’s Familiar Things a darkly lyrical epic from the most grippingly raw human material.

Sun on grey water
Mika Provata-Carlone examines Anthony Cartwright’s gripping and poignant novel The Cut, which holds up a mirror to a British society riven by divisions, duplicity and distrust in the Brexit era.

Bitter chocolate and the laughter of tears
Mika Provata-Carlone delights in Teffi’s consumately quirky memoir of exile across Russia in the wake of the disintegration of Tsarist rule.

Watching the river flow
Brett Marie dives into J. Robert Lennon’s Broken River, a dizzying domestic thriller about deceit and danger.

Howling whispers
Mika Provata-Carlone is blown away by House of Names, Colm Tóibín’s passionately amplified and distilled reworking of the Oresteia.


David F. Ross: Morrissey built my bookshelf
The author of The Man Who Loved Islands admits his first creative impulses came not from reading, but from immersion in the lyrics of his music idols.


Eka Kurniawan: Smitten
Jakarta tough guy Ajo Kawir takes on more than he bargained for when he encounters the female bodyguard of his latest quarry. From Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash.

Anthony Cartwright: A new day
Dramatic events and unusual stirrings in Perry Barr and at the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond as Cairo and Grace change plans. Extract from The Cut.

Yuri Herrera: A song for the king
The Artist enters the Palace for his one shot at worming his way into the King’s inner circle of wealth and power. From Kingdom Cons.

Hwang Sok-yong: Filthy treasures at Flower Island
On the outskirts of Seoul, 14-year-old Bugeye and his mum report to work picking trash from a landfill dump. From Familiar Things.

J. Robert Lennon: The house by the woods
A family hoping to silence its own demons moves into a once-derelict home with a diabolical history. A chilling extract from Broken River.

Benjamin Ludwig: Forever girl
The electronic baby won’t stop crying. Welcome to the world of Ginny Moon, a girl who sees the world differently but tries as hard as she might to make it all make sense.

Nicholas Royle: Immortality
A brilliant young critic is cut down before his prime, cementing an enduring legacy. From the novel An English Guide to Birdwatching.


Tove Jansson: Premonitions
Frida Andresson has troubling visions, but is unable to foresee her ultimate fate. From the story collection Letters to Klara.

Cristina Fernández Cubas: A fresh start
A woman mourning the passing of her life partner takes a fragmented journey to the joyful beginnings of their great love affair.


Jon McGregor: The long and short of it
The author of Reservoir 13 explains how he populated his broad canvas of Peak District country life via a series of detailed observations, and talks about his passions for short fiction, letter writing and the open air.

Bret Anthony Johnston: Tricks at the top
The 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award winner tells Mark Reynolds about piecing the winning story together and the parallels between writing and skateboarding.


Laurent Gaudé: In the shadow of Vesuvius
The author of Hell’s Gate explains why Naples offered a perfect setting for his modern-day exploration of a descent into the underworld.


The dream of a ridiculous man
Mika Provata-Carlone rejoices in the reissue of Egon Hostovsky’s The Hideout, an overlooked classic of World War II Czech literature.

Through a mirror darkly
Mika Provata-Carlone examines Natalie Haynes’ The Children of Jocasta, a retelling of the Oedipus and Antigone myths from the perspectives of Jocasta and Ismene.

Raoul Martinez: Freedom from democracy
How the electoral process and government policy are controlled by corporations – and why this must be stopped. Extract from Creating Freedom.

Where unhapiness ends: Naples beyond Ferrante
Mika Provata-Carlone absorbs the 3,000-year history and rich literary and cultural landscape of the ancient Greeks’ myth-laden ‘New City’.

Lives in black and white
Mika Provata-Carlone praises Meike Ziervogel’s The Photographer, a powerful, poignant portrait of fragmented lives in post-war Germany.

The Talleyrand of East Africa
Dominic Dromgoole recalls an aftershow party in Djibouti hosted by a decidedly French British Consul. From Hamlet: Globe to Globe.
Win a copy of the book.

Nir Baram: Over the wall
The author of A Land Without Borders sets out on a journey along the Green Line in search of resolution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

A breath of sadness
Mika Provata-Carlone sees beauty and compassion in The Orange Grove, Larry Tremblay’s visceral account of some of the most brutal chapters in human history.

Ian Nairn: The opposite of Birmingham
Timeless descriptions of some of the French capital’s major monuments and overlooked attractions. From Nairn’s Paris, now reissued by Notting Hill Editions.

Catching the past
Mika Provata-Carlone unpicks Otto de Kat’s latest tireless attempt to solve the puzzle of human remembrance in The Longest Night.


A thousand coloured castles
Extract from Gareth Brookes’ new graphic novel, a surreal and sensitive examination of suburban living and ways of seeing, drawn in wax crayon.

Russian Revolution: Hope, tragedy, myths
A selection of images from the new exhibition at the British Museum marking the centenary of the world-changing events of 1917, curated by Katya Rogatchevskaia and Susan Reed.


Poets, pedants and survivors
Mark Reynolds takes in a fresh batch of book adaptations and biopics, including A Sense of an Ending, Lady Macbeth and Mend the Living.


Civil rights and wrongs
Lucy Scholes admires Raoul Peck’s visionary documentary I Am Not Your Negro, a stirring evocation of James Baldwin’s writings and campaigns.

A positive betrayal
Director Ritesh Batra, screenwriter Nick Payne, author Julian Barnes and a cast including Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Emily Mortimer discuss bringing The Sense of an Ending to the screen.


A selective objective
Extracts from the six stories shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, by Kathleen Alcott, Bret Anthony Johnstone, Richard Lambert, Victor Lodato, Celeste Ng and Sally Rooney. Can you pick a winner?


Pennyfeather is sent down
The opening chapters of Evelyn Waugh’s sparkling college satire Decline and Fall, now a major BBC One series starring Jack Whitehall, Eva Longoria and David Suchet.


Peter Shafer: An immortal life
Mika Provata-Carlone attends an illuminating evening at the National Theatre celebrating the life and work of the late playwright, with performances by his peers.


Fearless flourish
Musa Okwonga admires the range, ambition and acuity of Irenosen Okojie’s Jhalak Prize-shortlisted story collection Speak Gigantular.


Terrifying tales
Xan Brooks, author of The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times, picks ten top reads about tormented child adventurers.

Turn me into a monster
As his novel The Impossible Fortress celebrates the early days of MTV, Jason Rekulak picks ten memorable pop videos by notable directors, including Brian de Palma’s Michael Jackson and Sam Peckinpah’s… Julian Lennon?.


Mohsin Hamid: Moving on
The author of Exit West chats to Mark Reynolds about migrations, mindfulness, nation states, staying human – and watching for lions.

Tim Murphy: Shouting out
The author of Christodora discusses his multi-stranded, cross-generational novel about the AIDS crisis and its aftermath with Lucy Scholes.

Laura McVeigh: Journeys of the mind
The author of Under the Almond Tree discusses Tolstoy, Afghanistan, refugees, displacement, and two oddly similar but distant Emerald Isles.

Steven Uhly: A life of encounters
The author of Kingdom of Twilight discusses selective memory, creativity, judgement and living with the past, with Mika Provata-Carlone.

Chris Cleave: Across the divide
The author of Everyone Brave Is Forgiven talks to Alex Peake-Tomkinson about addiction, trauma, intuition and telling a story from all sides.

Nathan Hill: Unpuzzling it all
The author of The Nix chats to Mark Reynolds about truth and fiction, obsessive gaming, Meryl Streep as his mom and meeting your heroes.

Michael_Chabon_420Michael Chabon: Flying high
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist talks to Mark Reynolds about Moonglow, the space race, a mixed bag of movies and confronting the Israeli Occupation.

Alexandra Kleeman: Places in between
Lucy Scholes chats to the author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine about our obsessions with onsumerism, commodification and conformity.

Welcome to dystopia
Mark Reynolds talks to writer-directors Jörg Tittel and Alex Helfrecht about their unsettling adaptation of György Dragomán’s The White King.

Claire Fuller: A family at sea
Juliet West quizzes the author of Swimming Lessons about mothers and daughters, family secrets, art, nature and aromas as colour.

Chibundu Onuzo: Sticking together
The author of Welcome to Lagos tells Mark Reynolds about her vibrant story of a band of runaways seeking a new life in Nigeria’s megacity, and getting into a dodgy scrape with a corrupt government minister.


Laurent Gaudé: The river of tears
In the Land of the Dead, Matteo encounters a lost friend as he approaches tumultuous waters heaving with tormented souls. From Hell’s Gate.

Alain Mabanckou: Pioneers Awake!
In 1970s Congo, a Marxist-Leninist revolution ushers in a new age – of corruption and terror. Extract from Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou.

David Vann: For Hekate
Medea seeks forest potions and sacrifices to appease the goddess of sorcery. From Bright Air Black, a dazzling retelling of the Greek myth.

Dorthe Nors: Driving to Distraction
Sonja has been taking driving lessons for six months but her instructor won’t let her change gear. From Mirror, Shoulder, Signal.

Sabahattin Ali: All the women I ever imagined
An encounter with a haunting self-portrait melts the indifference of a man suspicious of modern art. Extract from the stunning nre translation of Madonna in a Fur Coat by Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe.

Heinz Helle: Something burned here
Chilling discoveries and sharp memories from Euphoria, Helle’s stark and poetic evocation of the repressed savagery of human nature and the evaporation of society.

Shanthi Sekaran: Time to go
Solimar Castro-Valdez resolves to flee the forgotten village of Santa Clara Popocalco and start a new life beyond the Mexican border. From Lucky Boy.

Kayla Rae Whitaker: First night
Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses hole up in the toilets getting high ahead of the premiere of their first cartoon feature. From The Animators.


Liam Hogan: Internet dating for immortals
After 900 years of sorrowful break-up after break-up, will a chance encounter on Tinder see old George finally meet his match?

Orlando Ortega-Medina: The shovelist
Retiree Guillaume Morin is urged by his wife to keep earning extra cash shovelling snow after new neighbours move in. From Jerusalem Ablaze.


Facts_of_Life_feature_colourPICTURE STORIES
Paula Knight: The facts of life
Extract from the touching graphic memoir about not-quite motherhood, the meaning of family and moving on.


Peter Swanson: sophisticated murder
The author of The Kind Worth Killing and Her Every Fear owes a debt of gratitude to Alfred Htchcock for an introduction to thrillers and the understanding that less is best.


I, Octavio
The author of Octavio’s Journey reveals crossovers between myth and biography – and a white lie that helped his debut novel see the light of day.


Tim Pears: Keeping it pastoral
Having put tutoring on pause to devote himself to his new trilogy, the author of The Horseman discusses his writing and reading habits.

Shanthi Sekaran: Seeking the zing
The author of Lucky Boy talks creative sparks, writing boltholes, literary heroes, and casting the Italian World Cup squad in The Godfather.


The wisdom of parrots
Former Economist Delhi bureau chief Adam Roberts predicts a bright, challenging future for India. From Superfast Primetime Ultimate Nation.

On borrowed ground
Mika Provata-Carlone admires the fiery intensity of Bright Air Black, David Vann’s retelling of the Medea myth, but finds its savagery falls a little flat.

Seduced by utopia
Mika Provata-Carlone picks through the hardships, tragedies and ivory-tower dreams in Iris Origo’s lyrical memoir and war diary Images and Shadows and War in Vald’Orcia.

Suellen Dainty: A memory of memory
The author of The Housekeeper considers the unreliability of recolection in fiction from Proust to Julian Barnes and S.J. Watson.

Land of the bens and the glens
Extract from The Crofter and the Laird, John McPhee’s evocative account of moving his family to the land of his forebears on the remote Hebridean island of Colonsay.

Splinters and reflections
Josep Miquel Sobrere introduces his translation of Mercè Rodoreda’s tightly wrought, sparkingly inventive generational saga A Broken Mirror.

Cloak and dagger à la Russe
Mika Provata-Carlone admires Jamie Bulloch’s new translation of Ricarda Huch’s deliciously indulgent and provocative epistolary novel The Last Summer.

Saunders in the zone
Brett Marie is dazzled by master short-storyteller George Saunders’ debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo, about Abraham Lincoln mourning the loss of his young son.

A total portrait of the artist as an absence
Mika Provata-Carlone delves into Elena Ferrante’s Frantumaglia, a tantalising treasure-trove of letters, interviews, drafts and diaries.

Annemarie Neary: Scenes from a Troubles childhood
The author of Siren explains how growing up during the Northern Ireland Troubles still shapes her imaginative empathy and emotional truth.

A wonder to behold
Imbolo Mbue’s much heralded debut novel Behold the Dreamers about African immigrants in New York goes beyond high expectations, says Brett Marie.

Kate Hamer: Out there
The author of The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral reflects on her instincts and influences, and finding the perfect setting.

Katie Hickman: Diamond discoveries
The author of the Aviary Gate trilogy reflects on the obscure Levant Company merchant who has dominated her writing life for the last decade.

Miranda Emmerson: Mixed-up thinking
The acclaimed playwright looks at the sea changes in Europe and America that inspired her debut novel Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars, about fractured and fractious 1960s Britain.

Vagrant tales
Mika Provata-Carlone is mesmerised by David Connolly’s taut translation of Zyranna Zateli’s twisting tour de force At Twilight They Return.

Wraiths of neither good nor evil
Mika Provata-Carlone assesses Hans Fallada’s Nightmare in Berlin, an unsettling chronicle of personal trauma, historical outrage, moral guilt and accountability.

Strange fascination
Paul Morley describes the irresistible impact of David Bowie on the 1970s and beyond, in an extract from The Age of Bowie, now in paperback.

In defence of book learning
Brett Marie takes inspiration and solace from Will Schwalbe’s treasure trove of stories and recommendations Books for Living.

jackie_stillThe hydra of memory and forgetting
Mika Provata-Carlone admires Steven Uhly’s Kingdom of Twilight, a vital study of horror, survival and the natural impulse for humanity.


Heart and darkness
Mark Reynolds weighs up February/March 2017’s must-see film adaptations, featuring Moonlight, Fences, Elle, The Salesman – and The Lego Batman Movie.

Faith, grief and passion
Mark Reynolds rounds up January’s best literary adaptation and biopic releases, featuring Jackie, Silence, A Monster Calls, Lion, Christine, Denial, Hacksaw Ridge and The White King.


Tumult and majesty
Lucy Scholes picks her books of the year for 2016, and peeks ahead at spring 2017. Featuring Rachel Cusk, Garth Greenwell, Sarah Moss, Maggie Nelson, Colson Whitehead (right), Nathan Hill, Jami Attenberg and more.

Timely and timeless books
Mika Provata-Carlone takes a trawl through new children’s books and freshly wrapped classics – essential reading for the festive season.


Yukio Mishima: ‘Swaddling Clothes’
Orlando Ortega-Medina was so haunted by this story from the Japanese master, he decided to write what happens next from a new viewpoint in his collection Jerusalem Ablaze.

Write Christmas
Brett Marie asks Kim Echlin, Jenn Ashworth, Megan Bradbury and Will Schwalbe about their favourite holiday reads, and shares his own.


silence_tie-in_290CONTEXTS/ON FILM
Martin Scorsese: On Silence
The director introduces Shusaku Endo’s absorbing study of faith and culture, now a major film starring Liam Neeson and Adam Driver.


An unfailing life
Mika Provata-Carlone is captivated by the Royal Ballet’s Woolf Works at the Royal Opera House, starring Alessandra Ferri and Mara Galeazzi.

Forever Neverland
Mark Reynolds finds Sally Cookson’s Peter Pan at the National Theatre a dizzying examination of the pleasures and pains of growing up.


ice_bear_4That sinking feeling
Author and Arctic wilderness guide Michael Engelhard tracks the shifting language of polar bear art. From his book Ice Bear: The Cultural History of an Arctic Icon.


Dalliances at the dacha
An extract from the Alexander Pushkin fiction fragment that inspired Tolstoy to start writing his second masterwork Anna Karenina.


James Swallow: Watertight rules
The author of Nomad and hit videogame Deus Ex: Human Revolution offers his advice for new writers who may be struggling to get their stories down.

Brit Bennett: Getting started
The author of The Mothers takes a break from her exhaustive US tour to share some rules about choosing what to write and how to go about it.


colson_whitehead_420Burhan Sönmez: Istanbul light and dark
The author of Istanbul Istanbul discusses his novel of hope and imagination in the confines of a torture cell, his own run-ins with lawmakers and prison, and his long-term optimism for Turkey’s political future.

Colson Whitehead: Making it
The National Book Award-winning author of The Underground Railroad reflects on an extraordinary year of personal triumph and national angst.

Enchanted by the mystery of books
Ana Pérez Galván, the co-founder of Hispabooks, shares her thoughts on publishing Spanish literature in English with Mika Provata-Carlone.

Miriam Elia begs to differ
The creator of the Dung Beetle reading scheme tells Mark Reynolds about making books, art, comedy, hamsters and never quite fitting in.

Cristina Sánchez-Andrade: Flickers
Lucy Scholes talks to the author of The Winterlings about her story of exiled Galician sisters returning to their childhood home.


Amy Dupcak: India
A beautiful girl of uncertain origin seeks to stamp her identity through fiction. Short story from Amy Dupcak’s debut collection Dust.


Petina Gappah: Human rights and wrongs
Extract from ‘The Old Familiar Faces’ in her new collection Rotten Row, intelinked stories about crime and justice in contemporary Zimbabwe.


Robert Olen Butler: Still exploring
The Pulitzer Prize winner marks publication of his new novel Perfume River by cracking open the door to his writing cottage.


Reclaiming both past and future
Mika Provata-Carlone admires Leonard Barkan’s Berlin for Jews – a beguiling portrait of a city haunted, yet also honoured by its history.

Berlin by twilight
Mika Provata-Carlone savours the re-release of Franz Hessel’s 1929 classic Walking in Berlin: A Flâneur in the Capital, in a new translation by Amanda DeMarco.

Electoral collage
Brett Marie reflects on some classic books that inform the ugly 2016 race for US President, including a forgotten gem from Ralph Nader.



Astrid Lindgren: Waves of joy and doubt
Extract from A World Gone Mad, the World War Two diaries of the creator of Pippi Longstocking, as the war drags to a triumphant but messy close.


Lucie Whitehouse: Too close for comfort
The author of Keep You Close picks ten chilling novels in which home and family spell danger, pain, cruelty, terror and humiliation.


Henrietta Rose-Innes: Swarm
How to prevent – or nurture – a caterpillar infestation. Extract from Nineveh, a novel about people and pests in present-day Cape Town exploring tensions between the natural and man-made worlds.


nocturnal_animals_290EXTRACTS/ON FILM
Austin Wright: Remembering
A riveting extract from the opening chapters of Nocturnal Animals, now a gripping film by Tom Ford starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams.


A night in the barn
Extract from Georges Simenon’s The Hand, the inspiration for The Red Barn, David Hare’s latest sell-out play at the National Theatre.