Chaucer’s Voices

Barbara Newman, 19 November 2019

Every age creates its own Chaucer. For Eustache Deschamps, a contemporary, he was the ‘grant translateur’. For Hoccleve, a disciple, he was ‘my deere maistir’ and ‘the firste...

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‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’

Emily Gould, 19 November 2019

We first encounter​ Rachel Fleishman through the eyes of her ex-husband, Toby, who is trying to come to terms with her absence. He notices all the places in his life where she is not....

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Olive Kitteridge, Again

Tessa Hadley, 19 November 2019

Small Strout’s writing is often fuelled by indignation, but it’s directed at the injustices of class and poverty rather than patriarchy. On the whole, with some notable exceptions, she is kind...

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Too Proustian

Michael Wood, 7 November 2019

Bernard de Fallois​, a legendary French editor and publisher, died in January 2018. He worked for a long time at Hachette, and set up his own company in 1987. At one point, he was considering...

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David Jones removes himself

Paul Keegan, 7 November 2019

‘You​ ought to be in a kindergarten,’ a Canadian nurse exclaimed to David Jones, aged twenty, awaiting transfer home in July 1916 after being wounded in Mametz Wood. Even a decade...

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‘The Testaments’

Deborah Friedell, 7 November 2019

After she wrote The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood created sci-fi dystopias – she prefers the term ‘speculative fiction’ – chock-full of viral pandemics, antibiotic resistance,...

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Rewriting ‘Pericles’

Adam Smyth, 24 October 2019

Ben Jonson’s​ comedy The New Inn (1629) was, by all accounts, a theatrical disaster: ‘negligently played’ at the Blackfriars Theatre, according to its title page, ‘and...

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‘Girl, Woman, Other’

Clare Bucknell, 24 October 2019

It’s opening night​ at the National Theatre. The radical writer and director Amma Bonsu, snubbed for decades by the cultural establishment for her uncompromising work (FGM: The Musical;

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The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides

James Wolcott, 24 October 2019

Arguing about Sontag is one of the things that keeps her alive for us, as a figure of contention. We may end up arguing about her longer than we continue reading her, but that’s for posterity to...

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The Salinger File

Thomas Powers, 24 October 2019

When​ I think of J.D. Salinger now – not the books but the man – the thing I find hardest to understand is the moment when, in his early thirties, he began to hide his face. In 1952...

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Ilya Kaminsky

Colin Burrow, 24 October 2019

Ilya Kaminsky​ was born in 1977 in Odessa, the Ukrainian city named after Odysseus. In his first full-length collection of verse, Dancing in Odessa (2004), he let his readers in on a...

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Nicole Flattery’s Stories

Lauren Oyler, 10 October 2019

In​ ‘Abortion, a Love Story’, the long story at the centre of Nicole Flattery’s first collection, a young woman, Natasha, tells the professor on whom she’s about to...

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Tana French

Anne Diebel, 26 September 2019

You’re not supposed​ to feel sorry for Toby Hennessy, the narrator of The Wych Elm. He describes himself as ‘basically, a lucky person’: he grew up in a prosperous, supportive...

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Salman Rushdie’s ‘Quichotte’

Michael Wood, 12 September 2019

‘One​ can feel that there is always a camera left out of the picture,’ Stanley Cavell writes in The World Viewed. He is writing of a literal movie camera, but he suggests a...

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Kevin Barry

Nicole Flattery, 12 September 2019

It’s​ a stereotypical Irish scene. A beleaguered man is tending to a failing and unhappy farm. There’s trouble in the poultry shed. If this were a film, there would be close-ups of...

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Geoffrey Hill

Seamus Perry, 12 September 2019

You​ would be hard pressed to describe Geoffrey Hill’s final work. To say it is a sort of notebook cast as a prose poem in 271 sections of greatly varying length doesn’t get you...

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‘Arturo’s Island’

Tim Parks, 15 August 2019

Given​ the current enthusiasm for the practice of literary translation, the frequent claims that this or that English version captures or even surpasses the original, one might suppose that...

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Luce d’Eramo

Thomas Jones, 15 August 2019

Luce d’Eramo​ escaped from Dachau in October 1944. Part of a work crew that was transported into Munich every day to clean the sewers, she slipped away one afternoon during an air raid,...

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