Review | Dispatches from the Cathode Ray by William Brady

William BradyDispatches from the Cathode Ray The Disconnect, Roisin Kiberd, Serpent’s Tail, 2021, 283pp, £12.99 (paperback) The insidious workings of Big Tech have inspired a profusion...

Review | Andrew Gallix reviews A Lonely Man by Chris Power...

Andrew GallixA Lonely Man by Chris Power & Ghosted: A Love Story by Jenn Ashworth   A Lonely Man, Chris Power, Faber & Faber, 2021, 320pp, £14.99 (hardback) Ghosted:...

Review | Seed by Joanna Walsh

Dave ButlerSeed by Joanna Walsh Seed, Joanna Walsh, No Alibis Press, pp. 220, 2021, £14.99 (hardcover) There’s been a remarkable flowering over the past twenty years....

Review | A New Look at Adrian Berg by Andrew Lambirth

Andrew LambirthA New Look at Adrian Berg Adrian Berg: Paintings 1964 - 2010, Frestonian Gallery, 2 Olaf Street, London W11 (5 May - 3 July) Painters...

Review | Falling by T.J. Newman

Lucy MorrisFalling by T.J. Newman Falling, T.J. Newman, Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, pp. 304, 2021, £14.99 (hardcover) As a reader, I don’t stray from the...

Review | Historic Affairs: The Muses of Arthur Bryant by W....

Alistair LexdenHistory and Sex   Historic Affairs: The Muses of Sir Arthur Bryant, W. Sydney Robinson, Zuleika Books & Publishing,  2021, £25.00 (hardcover) During the Second World...

Review | Isobar Press: A Canvas of Language by Ian Brinton

Ian BrintonIsobar Press: A Canvas of Language In an article for PN Review in December 2014 Paul Rossiter gave an account of how he came...

Review | Giovanni Bellini: An Introduction by Peter Humfrey

The Venetian painter Jacopo Bellini taught his two sons, Giovanni and Gentile, who both surpassed him as artists. Gentile was sent to Constantinople to paint the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II, ruler of Venice’s traditional enemy in the eastern Mediterranean. Giovanni (1438/40-1516), who spent his entire life in that watery city, sometimes collaborated on major works with his father and brother [...]

Review | Kin by Hugh Dunkerley

Hugh Dunkerley’s second full collection of poems, Kin, presents humane and often moving explorations of life both within and beyond the self. Children, parents and parenthood, evocations of loss, fear, ecological and psychological crisis, and meditations on the interconnectedness of living things are its principal themes. ‘First contact’, the book’s opening poem, celebrates the birth of a child and their emergence from [...]

Review | Yes Yes More More by Anna Wood

By the time the protagonist of the final story in Anna Wood’s new collection has been in New Orleans for a few days she finds herself very pleased with the city’s atmosphere: ‘Annie was bewitched by this easy life, so brilliant and simple and busy.’ This bewitchment is also the prevailing mood of the book. In Yes Yes More More life is quite often easy, if only for a moment, and Wood captures the simple, busy lives of the characters at their most brilliant [...]

Review | An Idiom in Itself: Ugly Duckling Presse 2020 Pamphlet...

Sam Buchan-Watts An Idiom in Itself 2020 Pamphlet Series, Ugly Duckling Presse  Ugly Duckling Presse (or UDP) have over the past two decades fostered a rich and...

Review | David Hockney’s ‘The Arrival of Spring’ by Christine Jones

Christine JonesDavid Hockney's 'The Arrival of Spring' at the Royal Academy of Arts David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of...

Preview | Spanish Modern Landscapes at Colnaghi by Ria Higgins

Ria HigginsSpanish Modern Landscapes at Colnaghi Many of us long for the darkness of the last year to pass and for warmer days to...

Review | The Costs of Care by Alex Diggins

Carers are the unacknowledged stevedores of the world. The economic contribution of their unpaid humping and dumping is estimated at $10 trillion per year: 13 per cent of global GDP. In the UK, where 6,000 people become carers every day, they save the government £132 billion a year by their labour. Yet, as Sam Mills argues in her memoir The Fragments of My Father, carers  are invariably overlooked and undervalued. The ‘Clap for Carers’ in the early months of the pandemic implied caring was a one-off act: a singular performance with a triumphant crescendo and a definite end. Instead, as Mills makes clear, care is work: frequently exhausting, often dull [...]

Review | Grimoire by Robin Robertson

Poet Robin Robertson, whose original tales summon the violent beauty of the Scottish landscape, dedicates his latest collection to ‘the taken: for all those feart of the glamour’, as Grimoire is a collection of the shadow self, for and about those who dwell on peripheries. In a collaboration that calls to mind the Brothers Grimm, the poet’s brother, Tim Robertson, has rendered illustrations that appear on the page like an inkblot test, dark mirrors lending space [...]

Review | Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters by...

Before the Great War a brilliant group of Jewish artists were drawn to Paris. Amedeo Modigliani (called Modi) was born in Italy; Moise Kisling, Jules Pascin, Jacques Lipschitz, Chaim Soutine, Marc Chagall and Sonia Delaunay came from Eastern Europe. The Jewish painter and poet Max Jacob (1876-1944), born in Quimper, Brittany, was the only Frenchman connected to this group [...]

Review | The Loneliness of the Soul at The Royal Academy...

I have written about Tracey Emin many times and have always felt that her self-absorption and solipsism undermined her art. So I was sceptical as I got myself along - mask-protected - for my socially distanced visit to the Royal Academy to see The Loneliness of the Soul, a show in which she has double billing with Edvard Munch. What hubris, I thought! She’s bound to be dwarfed by the master of angst. To be the junior partner. The also-ran. This, after all, is the [...]

Review | Calling Out the Destruction: Collected Non-Fiction Meditations on Violence...

Karl R De Mesa’s collection. despite belonging to a very different genre, reminded me of John Wayne’s classic Western movie True Grit (1969). It places conceptions of mettle, both physical and emotional, under a high-intensity microscope. In examining the nuances of grit, violence and determination, the Filipino author and reporter digs deep beneath the lazy, surface-level musings of an all too modern journalism. His profiles of mixed martial artists (MMA) such as [...]

Review | The Assignment by Liza M. Wiemer

Liza M. Wiemer’s novel, The Assignment, is a frighteningly realistic portrayal of modern antisemitism in a small-town community that blurs the lines between past and present, fiction and reality. The novel is a fictionalised account of a real assignment that is given to students, which instructs them to debate the Final Solution, the Nazi’s plan for genocide of the Jewish people. When students Logan March and Cade Crawford protest holding the debate [...]

Review | Artemisia by Anna Banti

On 4 August 1944, as the Nazi occupation of Italy was coming to an end, the German forces evacuating Florence unleashed a final barrage of destruction, deploying mines across the city to bring down all but one of the historic bridges which had lined the River Arno for centuries. The blasts brought down many of the houses on each side of the river, including the house of writers Anna Banti and Roberto Longhi. Buried among the rubble of the house was the near-completed [...]

Review | Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold by Virago Press

Hag is an anthology of stories responding to classic folk tales from the British Isles, penned by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today. Originally conceived as an Audible podcast, the book version from Virago Press also has two new stories as well as copies of the original tales on which they are based. Daisy Johnson starts Hag off with a story that poses the question at the heart of any retelling: Is it mine to tell? [...]

Review | Outsiders: A Short Story Anthology by 3 of Cups...

‘We all secretly see ourselves as outsiders in one way or another.’ This, argues Alice Slater, editor of new anthology Outsiders from 3 Of Cups Press, is why readers are attracted to characters who do not fit in. But the very fact that the experience is universal exposes the paradox of the ‘outsider’ label. If we are all outsiders, then none of us are. The outsider then must mean something different to different people. Often, an outcast narrator, as Slater says, can be a representative for [...]

Review | The Dark Nest by Sue Harper

Sue Harper’s new collection of warped, modern fairy tales, The Dark Nest, updates classic characters – from European folklore to Wonder Woman – for a contemporary audience interested in the macabre and the taboo. The book is twisted but amusing: a journey into the quirks of fear and human desire. Kafkaesque transformation, of people and the worlds they inhabit, is a recurring theme in Harper’s work. Instead of men waking up from long slumbers to find they have turned into insects, the living mortify and the dead begin to dance. In the story ‘Graisaille’, the narrator is  ‘frozen and immobile’ like a corpse, while the dead rise up in  ‘an ecstasy [...]

Review | Wasted at the Southwark Playhouse

A grungy rock musical about the Brontës and their challenging lives, battling against addiction, disease and poverty, promises to be an exhilarating take on this famous family. Bleak, poverty-stricken Yorkshire becomes a stark, wooden platform that stages a series of powerful rock ballads. With music by Christopher Ash and book and lyrics by Carl Miller, Wasted’s undeniably talented cast have the potential to create something really exciting, but sadly, the production’s [...]

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