Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “Borges and I” is typical of the writer. Erudite and elliptical, succinct and self-referential, passionate and puzzling. In just a few closely packed pages, the Argentinian essayist and master storyteller links the prose of Robert Louis Stevenson with the soul of Julius Caesar, via London
Karen Jennings is still in shock. It has been a few days since the announcement that her novel, An Island, has been longlisted for the Booker prize, and the 38-year-old South African author looks as though she’s reeling. Considering the novel’s difficult route to publication, you can understand why. She
Contrary to its title’s implication, there are three significant figures shaping the course of Daisy Lafarge’s debut novel. Besides Paul himself, a charismatic, self-taught anthropologist who runs a chaotic farm-stroke-commune in the Pyrenean valleys, there is Frances, the first-person narrator, a recent medieval history graduate from the UK. And A.B.
At the age of 95, the comedian and film-maker Mel Brooks has written his first memoir. All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business will be published on 30 November by Penguin Random House in both the US and the UK. The book will cover everything from Brooks’s New
In 1922 Hans Prinzhorn, a Heidelberg psychiatrist, published a book that set the art world on fire. At first glance Artistry of the Mentally Ill didn’t sound as if it was breaking new ground. Ever since the 19th century, medical men working in asylums – “mad doctors” by another name
The experiences of women through the ages have many common threads, but the heroines in different ages are all indelibly marked by their times. Esther from The Bell Jar, for instance, is a product of the “silent generation” and her struggles would be hard to imagine in any other age.
It’s a fantasy most of us have at some point: to fake our death and fetch up in a distant country, under a different name, to begin a new life. When the Labour MP John Stonehouse attempted just that, in November 1974 – leaving his clothes in a Miami beach
It has taken a while for the world to catch up to the disturbing works of Shirley Jackson. Although she caused a furor with her 1948 story The Lottery – the “winner” gets stoned to death – the rest of her voluminous literary output went largely under-appreciated during her lifetime
Here is a book like none you will have read before. It draws on interviews conducted over six years by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah – a Ghanaian feminist activist and award-winning blogger – with more than 30 black and Afro-descendant contributors from across the African continent and its global diaspora in
No matter what he writes, Stephen King will always be considered a horror novelist. It’s unavoidable now; he is responsible for too many of the fantastical nightmares that prowl popular culture. Yet in his latest novel, Billy Summers, there are no supernatural shades whatsoever (save a late Easter egg reference