The Jews in Poland and Russia: A Short History

By Lawrence Joffe, October 15, 2015

By Antony Polonsky
Littman Library, £24.95

The ancestors of most Jews today once lived between Poland and Russia and, from the 17th century, they formed the world's largest Jewish community.


Review: The Marriage of Opposites

By Jennifer Lipman, October 15, 2015

By Alice Hoffman
Simon & Schuster

Best-selling American author Alice Hoffman's latest novel, The Marriage of Opposites, is a fictionalised retelling of how the artist Camille Pissarro - born Jacob Abraham Camille on the Caribbean island of St Thomas - became one of the most influential Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.


Penguins on board

By Angela Kiverstein, October 15, 2015

Meet at the Ark at Eight, Noah's dove tells the two penguins. But they can't abandon their friend, penguin number three. So these anarchic little creatures - deceptively cute in Jorg Muhle's illustrations - knock their pal unconscious and smuggle him on board. And suddenly they are having a theological debate. Does God exist? If so, why did He make penguins look like birds but smell like fish?


Interview: Joanne Limburg

By Anne Garvey, October 8, 2015

Joanne Limburg is primarily a poet. She has an original imagination, perfect economy of expression and a very precise turn of phrase. And she is a writer of parts.


Review: Fierce Attachments

By Madeleine Kingsley, October 8, 2015

By Vivian Gornik
Daunt Books, £9.99

From Upper Broadway to Fifth Avenue, 23rd Street to the downtown delis and discount stores of Delancey Street, Vivian Gornick and her mother stroll through Manhattan, battling more than they bond.

Indeed, the argumentative acid in Gornick's Fierce Attachments seems strong enough to burn the sidewalks as Gornick mère et fille pass by.


Sir Alex, me and leadership

By Grant Feller, October 1, 2015

Sir Michael Moritz is fiddling with his knitted tie, eyes nervously darting this way and that. Contemplating my first question about the effects of his parents being refugees from the Nazis building a new life in Cardiff, he tightens his lips, leans back, crossing and re-crossing his legs, easing the bottoms of his feet out of his well-worn slip-ons so that they swing on his arched toes.


Review: The House by the Lake

By Oliver Kamm, October 1, 2015

By Thomas Harding
William Heinemann, £20

It would be hard to write an original and moving account of the tortured 20th-century history of Germany. But, in The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding succeeds remarkably. His narrative device is a small, wooden house in a village called Gross Glienicke.


Moving and then muddled

By Michael Freedland, October 1, 2015

The Gratitude Cradle by Rhona Barnett Beck
Wilton 65

I so wanted to enjoy The Gratitude Cradle by Rhona Barnett Beck - who since its publication has now sadly died - the tale of a Holocaust survivor at the centre of a family saga.


Peggy and Pevsner: sex and sensibility

By Monica Bohm-Duchen, October 1, 2015

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern
By Francine Prose
Yale University Press, £16.99

Pevsner: The BBC Years
By Stephen Games
Ashgate, £85

One of the less familiar delights of a trip to Venice is a visit to the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home to Peggy Guggenheim's magnificent collection of early 20th-century art.


The painful truth about survival

By Emma Hartley, September 29, 2015

All I can do for my family who were lost is to say, I am with you in spirit. I take on myself, as much as I can bear, the terrible despair, suffering, heartbreak and pain that was visited on you. Although it is only a feeble gesture, I stand with you at the moment of death, and create a living link with you. That’s all I can do.”