Books within books: the bestsellers we’ll never get to read

An author obsessed with an imaginary fiction, bodice-rippers in Stephen Kings Misery, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy … why do writers love to write about writing? In David Quantick’s new fiction, All My Colors, Todd Milstead, a budding novelist with delusions of grandeur, a vastly inflated sense of his own talent and a photographic […]

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Trapped in Yemen: Dave Eggers on one man’s astonishing oppose to get home to America

Even before the US travel ban, Californian Mokhtar Alkhanshali found himself stranded on a business trip, left to find his own way out of a war zone In the spring of 2015, I met Mokhtar Alkhanshali outside the Blue Bottle Coffee headquarters in Oakland, California. He had just returned from Yemen, having narrowly escaped with […]

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We, the Survivors by Tash Aw review- assassination in a world of injustice

A fearful young man carries out a seemingly random crime in this gripping and strangely moving novel From the very first page of Tash Aw‘s new fiction, the ghost of Albert Camus’s The Outsider is an virtually palpable presence. The detached tone of Aw’s first-person narrator, Ah Hock; the fleeting impressions of societal contradiction and […]

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Close bellows: when American presidents diced with demise

Eight chairpeople have died in office. Through illness or violence, there have been many more very near misses Eight times in history, an American president has died in office – history altered by a heartbeat. The accidental presidents who succeeded them, neither the voters’ nor their party’s selection, each changed history, for better or worse. […]

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Trapped in Yemen: Dave Eggers on one man’s astonishing oppose to get home to America

Even before the US travel ban, Californian Mokhtar Alkhanshali found himself stranded on a business trip, left to find his own way out of a war zone In the spring of 2015, I met Mokhtar Alkhanshali outside the Blue Bottle Coffee headquarters in Oakland, California. He had just returned from Yemen, having narrowly escaped with […]

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Sex, jealousy and gender: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca 80 years on

Du Mauriers bestselling novel reveals much about the authors fluid sexuality her Venetian tendencies and about being a boy stuck in the wrong body, writes Olivia Laing In 1937, a young army wife sat at her typewriter in a rented house in Alexandria, Egypt. She wasn’t happy. Despite coming from an ebullient theatrical family, she […]

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The husband also rises: Mr Paula Deen wins Hemingway lookalike contest

After nine tries, Michael Groover depicts highlighted the importance of being Ernest in Key West bar that has held its immovable feast since 1981 After nine tries, the spouse of celebrity chef Paula Deen has won the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, which is held annually in the Florida city where the writer lived and worked […]

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Sex, jealousy and gender: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca 80 years on

Du Mauriers bestselling novel reveals much about the authors fluid sexuality her Venetian tendencies and about being a boy stuck in the wrong body, writes Olivia Laing In 1937, a young army wife sat at her typewriter in a rented house in Alexandria, Egypt. She wasn’t happy. Despite coming from an ebullient theatrical family, she […]

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Dave Eggers:’ I always picture Trump hiding under a table’

The books interview: The Circle author talks about Facebook, why immigrants are not the enemy and his first novel for children I am attracted to purpose,” Dave Eggers says. People need it, he believes, and so do nations. Much of his fiction has reflected on the loss of an American sense of purpose, the decay […]

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Xiaolu Guo:’ There was no private or personal space in China’

The writer and film-maker on the adversities of growing up in communist China and the shock of detecting artistic freedom Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese writer and film-maker based in London. She was named one of Grantas best young British novelists in 2013, and has been shortlisted for the Orange prize. Her memoir, Once Upon […]

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