Ultimate issues

21 April 2012 11:00 am

In his preface to this anthology of brief memoirs, Robert Silvers suggests that its ‘invisible, tragic core’ is to be…


The family plot

25 February 2012 11:00 am

Sam Leith explores the effect that certain writers’ relatives have had on their published works


Menace, mystery and decadence

11 February 2012 10:00 am

Richard Davenport-Hines on the seamy side of interwar Alexandria, as depicted by Lawrence Durrell


Bookends: Short and sweet

11 February 2012 9:00 am

Before texts and Twitter there were postcards. Less hi-tech, but they kept people in touch. Angela Carter (pictured above) and…


‘A world dying of ugliness’

4 February 2012 11:00 am

Philip Hensher on the marvellous, brutal, excoriating letters of the novelist Joseph Roth


The heart of Hemingway

7 January 2012 11:00 am

A new biography of ‘Papa’ has deeply impressed Sam Leith, although its thoroughness — like its subject — ‘teeters on nuts’


The truest man of letters

7 January 2012 10:00 am

Geoffrey Wheatcroft continues to mourn his friend John Gross on the first anniversary of his death

A gimlet eye

10 December 2011 11:00 am

We should be grateful to families which encourage the culture of writing letters, and equally vital, the keeping of them.…

A serenely contented writer

3 December 2011 11:00 am

Beaming Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE, D.Litt. (Oxon), Mark Twain medallist and co-founder of the Hollywood Cricket Club (1881-1975), personified…

What’s going on?

26 November 2011 11:00 am

An early sentence in this collection of stories, first published between 1979 and the current issue of Granta, runs thus:…

A literary curio

26 November 2011 11:00 am

Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac, better known as Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the son of French-Canadians spiced with the blood of Mohawk…

A man who quite liked women

19 November 2011 10:00 am

It is noticeable that the kind of young woman that a clever public man most likes talking to is intelligent…


Art Books: A sumptuous tour

19 November 2011 10:00 am

In 1930 Evelyn Waugh, already at 27 a famous novelist, spent two days in Barcelona. He came upon one of…

AfterWord edited by Dale Salwak

5 November 2011 11:00 am

‘Conjuring the Literary Dead’ is the sub-title of this outlandish, sometimes beguiling book. Its editor, Dale Salwak, coaxed 19 writers…


Martin Amis: The Biography by Richard Bradford

5 November 2011 10:00 am

Sam Leith is disappointed that our most famous living novelist remains an enigma


The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume II, 1941-56, edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck

29 October 2011 11:00 am

The die was miscast from the start, more’s the pity. As we reach the halfway point in this massy four-volume…

Sense and magnanimity

9 July 2011 12:00 am

People see William Rees-Mogg as an archetypal member of the Establishment.