books

books May 8, 2021

Inga Clendinnen: Selected Writings

As this posthumous collection shows, Inga Clendinnen’s faith in the public defined her work. “I … think my readers are as enthralled by the tough issues as I am,” she writes. “ ‘Popular history’ need not mean – must not mean – dumbed-down history.”...

books May 8, 2021

Second Place

“There’s an idea that a successful narrative is one that gives you no choice in the matter; but mostly I imagine it’s a question of both sides conspiring to keep the suspension aloft.” So writes Rachel Cusk in my favourite of her essays, the titular...

books May 8, 2021

Full Circle: a search for the world that comes next

Those wanting a straightforward reflection on a life in green politics at the tipping point of the Anthropocene may not find what they are looking for in Full Circle: a search for the world that comes next , the authorial debut from former...

books May 1, 2021

Gunk Baby

A “non-place”, as Marc Augé describes in his 1995 essay-turned-book Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity , is a venue whose uniformity of design makes it indistinguishable from another, regardless of where you are in the...

books May 1, 2021

Hold Your Fire

“They said: ‘Keep that boy at arm’s length’. But whose arm? The arm of an orangutan, a giant squid, a Tyrannosaurus rex?” These lines from Chloe Wilson’s short story collection Hold Your Fire could be a response to the standard advice given to girls...

books May 1, 2021

The Shape of Sound

“The shape of sound” is not just a metaphor. Sound is literally shapely. It’s physical, forceful; it can be overwhelming. Fiona Murphy’s debut memoir reminds us that while the “prevailing assumption is that deaf people hear nothing ... I feel sound...

books April 24, 2021

First Person Singular

As with so much of Murakami’s fiction, the narrators of the stories collected in First Person Singular tend to be going about their mundane lives when there is suddenly a hallucinatory rupture in perception, a slip sideways into unreality. Although...

books April 24, 2021

Emotional Female

While burnout and overwork are not especially new concepts, and human experience of them even less so, recent nonfiction from authors such as Anne Helen Petersen and Jenny Odell problematises women’s relationship to “success” and work under late...

books April 24, 2021

As Beautiful As Any Other

“It seems difficult here for anything to become permissible without becoming compulsory,” wrote child psychologist Martha Wolfenstein in 1951. She was writing about parenting and how softening attitudes towards playtime soon transformed into a new...

books April 17, 2021

Klara and the Sun

The slick, silver, flying-car-future found in 20th-century fictions always seems to be a decade or two away but never quite here. The only notable flying car in recent history needed the assistance of an enormous rocket, was piloted by a mannequin,...

books April 17, 2021

Turns Out, I’m Fine

Turns Out, I’m Fine is both the title of Judith Lucy’s latest memoir and a hard-won declaration of self. While a simple assertion on the surface, the noted comedian explains with open-hearted insight the influences that held her back from making it...