Literature

Chan Koon Chung – banned in China

29 May 2013 10:29

Chan Koon Chung’s previous novel, The Fat Years, was set in a gently dystopian Beijing of 2013, when a whole…

Jane Austen’s pinny

28 May 2013 9:30

This is the third entry in an occasional series by Christopher Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian Library.…

Dangerous romance – Clever Girl by Tessa Hadley

21 May 2013 9:10

‘The bus company’s yellow tin sign on its concrete post seemed for a long while a forlorn flag announcing nothing,’…

A makeshift memorial for the victims of the Boston marathon bombing. Picture: Getty

God, guns and America

17 May 2013 15:27

While training as a playwright, I was taught that any gun brought onstage must go off. Anton Chekhov said, ‘One must…

Taking revenge on wicked Lord Byron

15 May 2013 8:30

This is the second article in an occasional series by Christopher Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian Library.…

The power of Granta’s gift to British writers

19 April 2013 16:39

Philip Hensher was one of Granta’s 20 under forty in 2003, so what does he make of the new list?…

A.D. Harvey in The Spectator – a little tribute to Eric Naiman’s ‘When Dickens met Dostoevsky’

19 April 2013 15:22

Beginning with what he finds to be a rather implausible account of a meeting between Dickens and Dostoevsky, Eric Naiman’s…

Interview with James Wood

12 April 2013 8:15

James Wood is arguably the most celebrated, possibly the most impugned, and definitely the most envied, literary journalist living. By…

The British Library goes digital

11 April 2013 9:09

If you go down to the British Library today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Because as of last weekend,…

What is the point of fiction if not to expand horizons?

8 April 2013 9:00

While Ian McEwan’s recent piece in the Guardian is not expressly termed a treatise on the value of art, it…

Interview with a writer: Kevin Maher

5 April 2013 10:30

Kevin Maher’s debut novel The Fields is set in the suburban streets of south Dublin in 1984. The story is…

21 books for a godson, pt. 2

26 March 2013 11:30

This post is the second half of a list of 21 books that a man might give to his godson…

21 books for a godson, pt. 1

25 March 2013 11:30

There is much to be said for godfathers. They offer the wisdom of maturity without the complications of direct filial…

Death Comes For The Poets by Matthew Sweeney and John Hartley Williams – review

19 March 2013 10:00

Death Comes For The Poets is an unliterary book with a highly literary subject. It’s usually done the other way…

The world has yet to see the best of Chinese literature

13 March 2013 10:18

– Hong Kong  Imagine if every British novel published since the 1940s was about the Second World War. That’s about…

Books do furnish a room

7 March 2013 10:55

The first time you run out of space for your books is a rite of passage for booklovers. It’s the…

The Leather Case

16 February 2013 15:44

Last year I wrote an unpatriotic column for the Observer. I said that while American literary and journalistic frauds tended…

Young Romantics quiz

6 February 2013 11:45

Byron may have been mad, bad and dangerous to know, but how’s your knowledge of the rest of the Young…

Reading Richard III

4 February 2013 13:32

The confirmation that bones found beneath a Leicester car park are ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ those of Richard III has launched…

Interview with a writer: John Burnside

18 January 2013 11:50

It’s Friday at 10am in a remote field in Fife. John Burnside is taking his morning walk, whilst simultaneously attempting…

The Duchess of Cambridge, defining a portrait

14 January 2013 12:26

Poor Kate Middleton. In the royal tradition of artistic and literary representation, what defines her at this moment in time?…

Some literary thirteens for 2013

10 January 2013 15:28

I suspect I might not be the only one who finds it unnerving to be at the start of a…

The Costa Book Awards make history

2 January 2013 19:32

The Costa Book Awards has made its own history tonight by selecting, according to its press release, an all women…

The great books Spectator writers and others hate

21 December 2012 10:00

Find out which books PD James, Sam Leith, Susan Hill, Mark Amory, Barry Humphries and many more hate, then tell…

Sean O’ Brien: Poetry is political, all writing is political

14 December 2012 11:55

Sean O’ Brien was born in London in 1952. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Hull, where he grew up, thus…