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.


Beauty in the all-seeing eye of the talented beholder

By Juliet Steyn, January 20, 2014

Erwin Blumenfeld
Ute Eskildsen (Ed)
Yale University Press, £30

No Place Like Home
Judah Passow,
Bloomsbury, £25

Diversity of art practices responsive to the events and pressures of the world around him is the stuff of the current Jeu de Paume exhibition of photography, drawings and montage by Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969).


Idealist and realist: rich blend of Zionism’s instigator

By Oliver Kamm, December 12, 2013

By Shlomo Avineri
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20


The more interesting face of publishing

By Gerald Jacobs, August 16, 2013

Today’s book trade has two distinct faces. Behind the smooth, younger-looking one sit Penguin Random House and Amazon-type conglomerates with their armies of marketing men and women. The other, more lined face is made up of independent publishers, small bookshops and individual enthusiasts.


Review: Building: Isaiah Berlin, Letters 1960-1975

By Josh Glancy, August 11, 2013

Isaiah Berlin believed that some human values would always clash, so it is perhaps no surprise that his legacy continues to divide opinion today. To adapt an old Jewish joke, get three people to talk about Isaiah Berlin, and get five different points of view.


A pretty much religious key to success

By Gerald Jacobs, August 7, 2013

Both the two novels by Jewish authors on the Man Booker longlist announced last week depict the claustrophobic anxieties of a young heroine locked within a powerful family hinterland. In Charlotte Mendelson’s Almost English, sparked by memories of her Hungarian grandparents, the family is, as she puts it, “the really embarrassing foreign kind”.