Review: Proust: The Search

By David Herman, December 10, 2015

By Benjamin Taylor
Yale University Press, £16.99

It was perhaps the most astonishing dinner party of the 20th century. On May 18 1922, Marcel Proust attended a dinner in Paris to celebrate the première of Stravinsky's new ballet, Renard. Other guests included the Stravinskys, the Picassos, Diaghilev and James Joyce.


Women of skill reveal women of character

By Sipora Levy, December 10, 2015

The Greatest Need>
By Jasmine Donahaye
Honno, £10.99

Send Me a Parcel With a Hundred Lovely Things

By Carry Gorney
Ragged Clown (, £11.99

These absorbing and enjoyable books have much in common. They are about creative, politically active women, daughters of Jewish immigrants, determined to live life on their own terms.


Fantastic Miss Fox

By Angela Kiverstein, December 10, 2015

Watership Down was all very well but now it's the foxes' turn. Inbali Iserles's Foxcraft: The Taken (Scholastic, £5.99) follows Isla the cub as she tries to rejoin her family. Although Isla is, in some ways, almost too realistic a fox, her paws messy with chewed-up leftovers of a "rich, peppery" mouse-dinner, she also learns mystical foxcraft skills.


A prelude to horror

By David Robson, December 3, 2015

The thousands of books, the billion-fold repetition of the word, the endless aggregation of memorialisation of the Holocaust can have a dulling rather than heightening effect. What more that is new can be said? What can we learn that we do not already know? What have we not seen? What have we not heard? How can those too young to remember - the vast majority - comprehend?


Review: Let My People Go

By Colin Shindler, December 3, 2015

By Pauline Peretz (Trans: Ethan Rundell)
Transaction, £54.50

Joseph Stalin's last years were the "Black Years of Soviet Jewry". The trial and execution of the Yiddish writers, the Slansky trial of mainly Jewish Communists in Prague, and the infamous Doctors' Plot in January 1953, all characterised this period.


Reviews: Don't Mention The Children and Notness

By Peter Lawson, December 3, 2015

Don't Mention the Children
By Michael Rosen
Smokestack Books, £8.95

By Richard Berengarten
Shearsman Books, £9.95

Michael Rosen is best known as a children's writer who, as the blurb to Don't Mention the Children rightly states, has mastered a "childlike seriousness", blending innocence with experience.


At the end of a world

By Stoddard Martin, December 3, 2015

All For Nothing, by the late Walter Kempowski, now revived by Granta (£14.99), is set in a run-down manor near a main thoroughfare in East Prussia in January 1945. Its protagonists are normal, civilised yet blinkered gentry. The fearful thing is the approach of a vengeful Red Army.

Life in the manless household is relatively easy.


Why boredom's my best therapy

By Bonnie Estridge, November 26, 2015

For a man who worked for 10 years in a family business retailing computers and calculators in the 1980s, the leap to becoming a successful specialist in the field of therapies such as Clinical Hypnotherapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and counselling has been a remarkable one for Michael Cohen.


Review: Hysteria

By Ivy Garlitz, November 26, 2015

By Richard Appignanesi (words) and Oscar Zarate (illustrations)
Self Made Hero, £14.99

In Hysteria - the latest in the Graphic Freud series based on Freud's case studies - Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate explore the foundation of psychoanalysis.


Israel's Agatha Christie

By Leigh Lewis, November 26, 2015

Morse, Wallander, Adam Dalgliesh, Michael Ohayon... Michael who?

You may not have heard of Chief Superintendent Ohayon, the introverted, cerebral hero of Israel's stand-out crime writer, Batya Gur. She wrote just six novels featuring the fictional head of Jerusalem's murder squad. Each depicts a different microcosm of Israeli society. Each unravels the truth about a killing within a community.