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Should we build a wall around North Wales?

Daniel Trilling: The Refugee Crisis, 13 July 2017

Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move 
by Reece Jones.
Verso, 208 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 1 78478 471 3
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Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System 
by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.
Allen Lane, 288 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 0 241 28923 5
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No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance 
by Natasha King.
Zed, 208 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 1 78360 467 8
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... to varying degrees, refusing the controls on movement their governments had set up. In No Borders, Natasha King writes about the more radical end of migrant solidarity, which includes ‘anti-deportation campaigns, detention visitor projects, language clubs, No Borders camps and detention prison blockades’. ...

Part of the Empire

Natasha Wheatley: Habsburg History, 30 August 2018

The Habsburg Empire: A New History 
by Pieter Judson.
Harvard, 567 pp., £17.95, September 2018, 978 0 674 98676 3
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... in a mere ninety minutes. Among the Hungarian dead lay seven bishops, a swag of barons, and the king. The twenty-year-old Hungarian sovereign, Louis II, had fallen from his horse as he fled the battlefield and drowned in a shallow stream – a quiet death that fuelled conspiracy theories for centuries to come. The death of the heirless ...


Hamish MacGibbon: My Father the Spy, 16 June 2011

... Office Map Room and took copious notes. A first rendezvous was arranged with James’s courier, Natasha (whom I now believe to have been a GRU officer, probably run by Kozlov). Normally this would have involved an induction period but that didn’t happen and James’s first rendezvous, as he noted in a short account of his war years that he wrote many ...

The Nutcracker

Jon Stallworthy, 17 September 1987

... footmen to discover the barefoot Cinderella’s home. But was she– champagne’s a deceiver– Natasha Rostov rediviva? I had to find her to know that. Some mornings after, as I sat considering coffee and a stiff tot of whisky, came a letter: Dear dashing white British Grenadier, have you outgrown toy soldiers? If not, come with this ticket and enjoy The ...


Thomas Jones: Q and China Miéville, 7 January 1999

by Q..
Sceptre, 256 pp., £6.99, May 1997, 0 340 68558 1
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King Rat 
by China Miéville.
Macmillan, 333 pp., £9.99, November 1998, 0 333 73881 0
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... is one option open to writers of club fiction: China Miéville concludes his acknowledgments in King Rat with ‘awe and gratitude especially to A Guy Called Gerald for the sublime Gloc: old, now, but still the most terrifying slab of guerrilla bass ever committed to vinyl. Rewind.’ In the central club episode of Deadmeat, Q writes of a DJ’s music that ...

Doomed to Draw

Ben Jackson: Magnus Carlsen v. AI, 6 June 2019

The Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match that Made Chess Great Again 
by Brin-Jonathan Butler.
Simon and Schuster, 211 pp., £12.99, November 2018, 978 1 9821 0728 4
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Game Changer: AlphaZero’s Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI 
by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan.
New in Chess, 416 pp., £19.95, January 2019, 978 90 5691 818 7
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... who had the white pieces, castled on the queen’s side in an attempt to target Carlsen’s king by opening up the king’s side. This manoeuvre was a bit of a gamble. Though he had prepared a defence with an unusual rook move, he had exposed his king to Carlsen’s active ...

Rainy Days

Gabriele Annan, 18 September 1997

The File on H 
by Ismail Kadare, translated by David Bellos.
Harvill, 169 pp., £8.99, June 1997, 9781860462573
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... like to be Albanian – his own mind-set being one of them. He was born in 1936 in the reign of King Zog – the period of The File on H. He is a poet as well as a novelist, and in Albania he is not just big but a national treasure. People know his poetry by heart. In his early days, he celebrated Hoxha, but then he grew more and more critical of the ...

Out of Ottawa

John Bayley, 21 November 1991

By Heart. Elizabeth Smart: A Life 
by Rosemary Sullivan.
Lime Tree, 415 pp., £17.99, October 1991, 0 413 45341 3
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... girlhood’; in 1937 they were absorbed, both in London and Ottawa, in the preparations for King George VI’s coronation. Elizabeth – ‘all pink and white and golden’, as Ritchie remembered her – was much more enthusiastic than her sister Jane, an unimpressed aggressive girl who resented the flummery and chiefly remembered not having been able ...


David Runciman: Dylan on the radio, 19 July 2007

... as every slight is repaid and every favour commemorated. Nothing is too banal for inclusion: ‘Natasha, who used to work on the show, once screwed up so badly that when we were due to play a world exclusive of the new Sugababes single she gave us the wrong track, and I was informed I wasn’t allowed to tell her off about it, because, and I ...

Schadenfreude with Bite

Richard Seymour: Trolling, 15 December 2016

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture 
by Whitney Phillips.
MIT, 256 pp., £10, September 2016, 978 0 262 52987 7
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Gendertrolling: How Misogyny Went Viral 
by Karla Mantilla.
Praeger, 280 pp., £32, August 2015, 978 1 4408 3317 5
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Bad Clowns 
by Benjamin Radford.
New Mexico, 188 pp., £12, February 2016, 978 0 8263 5666 6
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Trolls: An Unnatural History 
by John Lindow.
Reaktion, 60 pp., £9.99, August 2015, 978 1 78023 565 3
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... from Reading, was jailed for posting messages online about dead teenage girls. He called Natasha MacBryde, who had killed herself aged 15, a ‘slut’; on Mothers’ Day he posted a message on the memorial page of 14-year-old Lauren Drew, who had died after an epileptic fit: ‘Help me mummy, it’s hot in hell.’ Often, trolls gang up on their ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... that day so they went there and met up with their friend Muna Ali. They all went to Falafel King afterwards to have lemonade. They just sat at the window watching the world go by, and they discussed Ramadan. Naseem promised to come to Grenfell Tower so they could break their fast together and make her famous cheese pie. ‘It had been such a big iftar ...

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