Review | Underland by Robert Macfarlane

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How should writers respond to the ecological crisis? Both 'crisis' and the much-contested term ‘Anthropocene’ appear to bring us to the brink: there is, they tell us, no return to a state of innocence. If the possibility of an alternative future ever existed (and some claim it never did), then now it must be foregone [...]

Review | James Cook: The Voyages at The British Library

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By Charlie Allen James Cook: The Voyages, British Library, 69 Euston Road, NW1 2DB It is appropriate that an exhibition about nautical exploration should take place...

The Catch by Fiona Sampson

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The cover image of Fiona Sampson’s seventh collection is bright and strange. Taken from photographer Charles Frèger’s Wilder Mann series (2010-11), it depicts a...

La Bohème at The Cutty Sark

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Puccini’s La Boheme has long elicited a powerful emotional response from its audiences, but rarely have the cast been close enough to see its...

Review | Normal People by Sally Rooney

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Sally Rooney’s long-awaited second novel “Normal People” burst onto the scene last month, and has been making waves in the literary world since its...

Auerbach’s Intimitable Magic

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When Frank Auerbach first came to public notice – emerged rather than burst – in the 1950s he was noted as a “British Expressionist”...

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

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Jonathan Franzen likes big books. Each one of his critically acclaimed works are weighty door-stoppers but their tangible size in no way matches the...

Review | Frank Bowling at Tate Britain

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Born in 1934 in what was then British Guiana (now Guyana), Frank Bowling studied at the Royal College of Art alongside David Hockney and...

Lisa Brice at the Stephen Friedman Gallery

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In 1959 Yves Klein wrote: “blue has no dimensions.” For him, all other colours could be relegated to specific associative ideas that they arouse....

Review | The Triumph of Cancer by Chris McCabe

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The scientific language used by doctors to describe cancer—the uncontrollable growth of a single cell—is often mystifying and alienating. Can the experience of cancer...

Review | The Pleasures of Queuing by Erik Martiny

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Erik Martiny The Pleasures of Queueing Mastodon Publishing 2018 ISBN 978-1-7320091-1-0 In chapter 13 of his very funny and entirely absorbing novel, Erik Martiny has his narrator and...

Review | Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know by Colm Tóibín

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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce, Colm Tóibín, Viking, 2018, pp.192, £14.99 Strolling through the Dublin where he once studied,...

Review | Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold

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Ash, the protagonist of Amy Arnold’s debut novel, is a curious creation; she is fascinated by the etymologies and sounds of language, storing her favourite discoveries in an imaginary ‘word collection’, she swims in an abandoned lake with her daughter Charlie to practice breathing underwater, steals dogs from pubs [...]

Duane Hanson at The Serpentine Sackler Gallery

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Occupying prime exhibition space in the cosmopolitan Serpentine Sackler Gallery are ordinary and often overlooked working class (which Americans call middle class) figures sculpted...

I Wish I Was Lonely by Hannah Jane Walker

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For what seemed to be the first time in my life, I was asked to leave my mobile phone on during a performance. Even...

Review | Multiverse by Andrew Wynn Owen

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The Multiverse ( or theermvsuitle as it says on the cover)  is the first poetry collection by Andrew Wynn Owen, a fellow of All...

Review | Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš

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On the face of it, Flesh-Coloured Dominoes is a book of two novels spliced together: its chapters alternate between two wildly different narratives. One is a bildungsroman of sorts that sees the Second World War through the eyes of an unnamed first-person narrator, a young orphan growing up in Riga; the other is set in the 18th century in Vidzeme – part of modern-day Latvia – and aptly centres on a very literal, very macabre case of conjoining two odd halves to make a whole [...]

Review | The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre

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This Christmas, join the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in their magical rendition of Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman. Christmas would not be the same without this enchanting...

Review | Rainsongs, by Sue Hubbard

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Sue Hubbard’s Rainsongs has a unique and beautiful emotive quality that shines through its delicately constructed prose in a love-letter to Ireland, memory and parenthood,...

Review | Mnemic Symbols by Andrew Hodgson

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It’s a familiar, yet uncanny feeling we all know; like waking up in a hotel you’re sure you’ve never stayed in before, and yet,...

Painting with Light

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There is a scene in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited in which the odious Boy Mulcaster interrogates Charles Ryder, painter and protagonist, as to why...

Physical by Andrew McMillan

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Andrew McMillan’s debut collection Physical opens with an epitaph taken from one of the often overlooked novels of Hilda Doolittle, better known as H.D.,...

Review | Three Women at The Trafalgar Studios

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Katy Brand’s Three Women at the Trafalgar Studios offers a representation of the title across respective and somewhat stereotypical generations.  Suzanne, a crystal-loving 40-year old played by...

Review | Edvard Munch: Love and Angst at the British Museum

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Known for the haunting anguish of The Scream, Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch produced less notorious pieces with a similar apocalyptic gloom. The...

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