Essays

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The Written World and the Unwritten World by Italo Calvino review – exquisite flights of imagination
Calvino ponders life, literature and the mysterious spaces in between in this rich collection of essays, reviews, interviews and more

Tim Adams

10, Jan, 2023 @9:00 AM

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The Written World and the Unwritten World by Italo Calvino review – a box of delights
Essays from the Italian polymath offer a penetrating exploration of the art of reading and writing

John Self

07, Jan, 2023 @7:30 AM

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My Life in Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler review – an exquisite science-memoir hybrid
Marine curiosities and the author’s own queer coming-of-age tale are intertwined in these evocative essays

Lucy Cooke

23, Dec, 2022 @7:30 AM

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The best books to give as presents this Christmas
Authors and Observer critics choose the books they will be giving as gifts this year – and the one they’d like to find in their own stocking

11, Dec, 2022 @11:59 AM

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Fran Lebowitz on life without the internet: ‘If I’m cancelled, don’t tell me!’
The writer is easy to spot if you spend long enough in New York, but interviews have to be over her landline, as she is permanently offline. She reveals why Andy Warhol wasn’t so smart, and how she learned to love a good party

Fiona Sturges

10, Dec, 2022 @11:55 AM

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My Life in Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler review – the joys of jellyfish, sturgeon and whales
The gifted science writer’s lyrical collection doesn’t always flow smoothly between reverie and fact, but remains intriguing

Bidisha Mamata

04, Dec, 2022 @1:00 PM

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A Guest at the Feast by Colm Tóibín review – words never fail him
The clarity of the novelist’s descriptive ability shines through essays on topics ranging from his treatment for cancer to the joys of an empty Venice

Rachel Cooke

29, Nov, 2022 @7:00 AM

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What we’re reading: writers and readers on the books they enjoyed in November
Authors, critics and Guardian readers discuss the titles they have read over the last month. Join the conversation in the comments

Emily Bootle, Sabba Khan and Guardian readers

25, Nov, 2022 @2:26 PM

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A Guest at the Feast by Colm Tóibín review – a writer’s roots
Droll, careful reflections on Ireland, illness and religion in a welcome collection of essays

John Mullan

24, Nov, 2022 @11:00 AM

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Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami review – lessons in simplicity
The Japanese writer lets readers inside his own head in an insightful collection of essays on his work and methods

Kathryn Hughes

09, Nov, 2022 @7:30 AM

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In brief: The Book of the Most Precious Substance; Antarctica: A History in 100 Objects; These Precious Days – review
An absorbing occult thriller from Sara Gran; fascinating snapshots of South Pole exploration; and searching essays from Ann Patchett

Hannah Beckerman

06, Nov, 2022 @4:00 PM

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Novelist As a Vocation by Haruki Murakami review – the secrets behind the literary phenomenon
The celebrated novelist offers insights into his ways of working, his direct style and the moments that shaped him in this intriguing book on writing

Sean O’Hagan

06, Nov, 2022 @9:00 AM

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