Books

Arts world dismayed at fate of London home of Rimbaud and Verlaine

November 22, 2020

It was the London home of the 19th-century Decadent poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, two of France’s greatest literary heroes, whose tempestuous love affair ended with a shooting and prison. A Georgian building in Camden, where they rented lodgings in 1873, was to have become “a poetry house”, an arts and education centre in […]

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Julia O’Faolain obituary

November 17, 2020

The writing of Julia O’Faolain, who has died aged 88, reflected a cosmopolitan life and impressively well-stocked mind. Her novels are set in France, California, Italy, as well as Ireland – an international scope that marks her as unusual among the Irish novelists of her brilliant generation – which includes John McGahern, Edna O’Brien and […]

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How I learned to love being an Essex girl | Sarah Perry

October 2, 2020

In the kingdom of the East Saxons, towards the end of the seventh century, the noblewoman Ethelburga founded an abbey in a place they called Berecingum, which means “the people who live among the birch trees”. Here she “preserved the glory of perpetual virginity”, says Bede, “in a life of great self-denial”; and when one […]

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‘Utterly joyful’ Look Up! wins Waterstones children’s book of the year

July 29, 2020

Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola have won the Waterstones children’s book prize for their “utterly joyful” picture book about a science-loving black girl, Look Up!, at a time when only 4% of British children’s books contain a black or minority ethnic main character. Following the adventures of Rocket, a little girl who is trying to […]

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John Furnival obituary

June 17, 2020

John Furnival, who has died aged 87, was a leading figure in visual and concrete poetry from the 1960s onwards, even as he often questioned with vigour the usefulness of these terms. He described himself, characteristically tongue-in-cheek, as a “drawer”, his preferred medium being pen and ink. His “wordscapes” were made by drawing letters, words, […]

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