Pleading hearts and sanity inspectors

By David Herman, April 25, 2014

Lisa Appignanesi has written or edited more than 20 books. Her novels and her non-fiction are both marked by a preoccupation with passion and the mind, notably the darker areas of both.


Maimonides - a philosopher for all time

By David Conway, April 25, 2014

In each of his three successive main works, Moses Maimonides made a major contribution to Jewish thought any one of which would have secured him a place in the annals of Jewish history.


JW3 marks Yom Hashoah

April 25, 2014

JW3, the Jewish community centre in Finchley Road north London, is marking Yom Hashoah this weekend with a series of events the centrepiece of which is After Images, a discussion between three daughters of Holocaust survivors -- Lisa Appignanesi, Aloma Halter and Anita Peleg --- each of whom has a new book out relating to Holocaust memory.


Countrymen: Hints of Denmark

By Tony Kushner, March 26, 2014

By Bo Lidegaard
Atlantic Books, £22

We cannot get enough, these days, of Scandinavian crime thrillers but the only mystery here is how the publisher has tried to get away with suggesting, in a sub-title, that the rescue of Danish Jewry in October 1943 is an "untold story".


Review: No Book But the World

By David Herman, March 26, 2014

By Leah Hager Cohen
Clerkenwell Press, £12.99

Leah Hager Cohen's last novel, The Grief of Others (2011) was a clear and moving account of the members of a dysfunctional family in suburban upstate New York trying to pull their lives together. The son, Paul, is an "overweight, acned, awkward" teenager, bullied and lonely at school. The daughter, Biscuit, is secretive and plays truant.


Singular South American genius

By Stoddard Martin, January 20, 2014

Near to the Wild Heart
Passion According to G.H.
A Breath of Life (all £8.99)

Agua Viva
Hour of the Star (both £7.99)
By Clarice Lispector

Why This World (£12.99)
By Benjamin Moser
Penguin Modern Classics

On the jacket of one of the five novellas by Clarice Lispector, released simultaneously by Penguin Modern Classics, Colm Tóib


It Goes With The Territory: Memoirs of a Poet

By Peter Lawson, January 20, 2014

It Goes With The Territory: Memoirs of a Poet
Elaine Feinstein
Alma Books, £20

Elaine Feinstein's autobiography is a treat, offering an exciting insight into her prodigious output. Despite the sub-title, Feinstein is more than a poet. She is a highly respected novelist, playwright and biographer, as well as an award-winning translator and writer of television screenplays.


Year Zero: A History of 1945

By David Cesarani, January 20, 2014

Year Zero: A History of 1945
By Ian Buruma
Atlantic Books, £25

Several books on the end of the Second World War have been published recently, but Ian Buruma's is distinctive by virtue of its scope and personal tone. Buruma adopts a global perspective, framed by the story of his own family.


Interview: Samantha Ellis

By Simon Round, January 20, 2014

Samantha Ellis can pinpoint the exact moment when the idea for her literary memoir How To Be a Heroine came into her head.

She was on a visit to Brontë country with her friend, Emma. Ellis's favourite Brontë character had always been Cathy Earnshaw in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights: "I was genuinely surprised and shocked that Emma was championing [Charlotte Brontë's] Jane Eyre.


Kicking out falsehoods

By Robert Low, January 20, 2014

There can rarely have been more of an innocent abroad than Lance-Corporal Ron Jones at the start of the Second World War. Born near Newport, he was working in a Cardiff steel forgings factory when he was called up by the South Wales Borderers as a result, he claims, of a clerical error, a fact that still nettles him at the age of 96.