Books

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Matrix by Lauren Groff review – thrilling trip into the mystic
The Fates and Furies author reconstructs the life of a 12th-century nun, drawing out conflict, drama and queer undercurrents

Alex Preston

27, Sep, 2021 @8:00 AM

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The big idea: should scientists run the country?
Covid has put academics like Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance at the heart of government, but smart politicians are essential too

Philip Ball

27, Sep, 2021 @7:00 AM

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Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Wole Soyinka review – a vast danse macabre
The Nigerian writer’s first novel in nearly 50 years is a vivid, shocking story of political corruption in a country much like his homeland

Ben Okri

27, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

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In brief: Lemon; The Nutmeg’s Curse; Dirt – reviews
Kwon Yeo-Sun brings eerie beauty to crime fiction, Amitav Ghosh traces the climate crisis to colonialism and Bill Buford goes to the heart of French cuisine

Hephzibah Anderson

26, Sep, 2021 @3:00 PM

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Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr review – all human life is here
Classical philosophy meets the climate crisis in the Pulitzer prize-winner’s propulsive novel stretching over 700 years

Hephzibah Anderson

26, Sep, 2021 @2:00 PM

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Crossing the Mangrove by Maryse Condé – a village united by a vagabond
The death of a newcomer to a Guadeloupean community sparks a meandering, fascinating novel about the locals’ interconnected lives

John Self

26, Sep, 2021 @12:00 PM

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Home tweet home: how an illustrator captured the intricacy of bird nests
When Susan Ogilvy starting painting nests in her garden she realised there were few pictorial accounts of these complex creations

Killian Fox

26, Sep, 2021 @12:00 PM

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And Away… review – how Bob Mortimer went from sidekick to standalone
An often moving memoir examines the comedian’s unlikely journey from Big Nights Out to riverbank ruminations with Paul Whitehouse

Stephanie Merritt

26, Sep, 2021 @10:00 AM

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The Magician by Colm Tóibín review – a difficult Mann to know
This dramatisation of Thomas Mann’s private and public life never quite convinces as biography or fiction

Anthony Cummins

26, Sep, 2021 @8:00 AM

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‘I have these stories to tell’: the authors trying to diversify children’s books
Schemes provide mentors and funding to help aspiring writers on low incomes enter market dominated by white celebrities

Donna Ferguson

26, Sep, 2021 @6:15 AM

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‘American democracy will continue to be tested’: Peril author Robert Costa on Trump, the big lie and 2024
Washington Post reporter calls co-authoring book on end of Trump presidency with Watergate legend Bob Woodward a ‘privilege’

David Smith in Washington

26, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

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Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen review – spiritual successor to The Corrections
The pastor’s family at the heart of Franzen’s sixth novel – a bravura examination of the mores of liberal America in 1971 – are his most sympathetic creation to date

Tim Adams

26, Sep, 2021 @6:00 AM

33 / 3,150 pages