Tag Archives: Books

Why Harry Potter and Paddington Bear are essential reading for grown-ups

Oxford don champions childrens books as figures show that sales to adults are soaring By day, she researches the poetry of John Donne as a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. But in the evening, when Michael Bond has built into his books is one of hope. Things which appear to be negative turn out Read more »

Benedict Cumberbatch on the explosive power of letters: ‘They’re grenades!’

Noel Fielding, Thom Yorke and Cumberbatch tell us why they love Letters Live, the performances of correspondence where anything can happen Its a blustery Saturday night and around 900 people are lined up to go to church. The faithful have come to the Union Chapel, in Islington, London, to receive wisdom from those stepping up Read more »

‘I’m not a gay writer, I’m a monster’: did James Purdy foresee Trump’s America?

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous authors time finally come? On 6 August 2015, the American author and playwright Cabot Wright Begins. A scabrous satire about three of New Yorks sacred cows publishing, politics Read more »

Netflix to adapt One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garca Mrquez

Streaming giant buys rights to create first ever screen adaptation of Colombian authors seminal 1967 magical realist novel Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel Garca Mrquezs seminal One Hundred Years of Solitude to create the first screen adaptation of the authors 1967 masterpiece. The streaming company announced on Wednesday that the book will be Read more »

The limits of reason: Philip Pullman on why we believe in magic

The world of magic defies rational explanation, but beware dismissing it as nonsense. Like religious experience and poetry, it is a crucial aspect of being human, writes the Dark Materials author A new exhibition at the Rationalist Association as a supporter, and at the same time I think this exhibition is full of illuminating things, Read more »

‘He was high-brow, low-brow, every-brow!’ the genius of Leonard Bernstein

Composer, conductor, inspiration, FBI suspect Leonard Bernstein was born 100 years ago this August, and this summers Proms will celebrate his work. Musicians, critics and his own family remember an astounding talent Marin Alsop: Bernstein the inspiration Bernstein was impossibly brilliantin so many different areas: a genius conductor, composer, author, pianist, thinker, activist, educator and Read more »

Arundhati Roy: The point of the writer is to be unpopular

The acclaimed author answers questions from our readers and famous fans on the state of modern India, the threat of AI, and why sometimes only fiction can fully address the world Arundhati Roy does not believe in rushing things. With her novels, she prefers to wait for her characters to introduce themselves to her, and Read more »

The corrosion of truth in these strange times is terrifying | Richard Flanagan

Lies have become alternative facts and truth irrelevant in the face of power, while we all give up our privacy In Book 8 of The Odyssey we read that the gods weave misfortune so that later generations have something to sing about. It wasnt a god but a conman who now leads me to describe Read more »

John Burnside: Writing is what I steal from the usual flow of things

The prolific poet and novelist on insomnia, noise sensitivity and the glorious salvation of the writers residency My writing day: say it like that and its a highly inviting proposition. Immediately, I picture the comfortable, mildly ritualistic routine of the self-sufficient author, immersed in the stylistic minutiae of some new, and still untarnished magnum opus, Read more »

Top 10 novels about Pakistan

From Mohammed Hanif to Kamila Shamsie, and some names still unfamiliar to English readers, here is some of the best fiction about a nation set to turn 70 this year A while ago I emailed a Pakistani news editor, introducing myself and pitching a column. He replied promptly saying that while we hadnt met, he Read more »