Review: Apology For The Woman Writing

By David Herman, November 13, 2008

Jenny Diski became a writer in her late 30s. Suddenly, words poured out: 16 books, fiction and non-fiction, in just over 20 years. She is as wide-ranging as she is prolific. Novels about Abraham and Sarah, a Jewish girl living in medieval Poland, and an anthropologist in Borneo. What is common to these otherwise very different books is their darkness: characters locked in an abusive relationship, eccentrics, madwomen and alcoholics.


Iran: an under cover view

By Daniella Peled, November 6, 2008

In The Secret War With Iran, (Oneworld, £16.99) Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman has managed to pull off that much-vaunted trick, beloved of blurb-writers, of making a serious, investigative book read like a thriller.

This provides a fascinating insight into the clandestine battle which has raged between Iran, the US, Israel and other actors in the 30 years since the Islamic Revolution, with spies, secret deals, assassinations, terror plots and political intrigue.


Review: Wartime Courage

By Jeremy Isaacs, November 6, 2008

By Gordon Brown
Bloomsbury, £16.99

Vividly, as a boy in Kirkcaldy after the Second World War, he recalls standing in the cold at Remembrance Day ceremonies, and the sense a community shared of respect and gratitude for those who gave their lives for our freedoms.


A peek into the soul of Arsenal

By Simon Round, October 30, 2008

On the cover of Alex Fynn's latest anatomy of Arsenal Football Club, Arsènal: The Making of a Modern Superclub, with Kevin Whitcher (Vision Sports £16.99), the club's manager Arsène Wenger (who gives the title its e-grave accent) is quoted, saying: "Alex Fynn is a football guru, and I'm always interested in what he has to say."


Review: All Our Worldly Goods

By Anne Garvey, October 30, 2008

By Irène Némirovsky
Chatto & Windus, £12.99


Anglo-Jewry’s leadership, savaged and savoured

By Stephen Games, October 30, 2008

Controversy And Crisis: A History Of The Jews In Modern Britain
By Geoffrey Alderman
Academic Studies Press, £37

Studies and profiles in Anglo-Jewish History from Picciotto to Bermant
By Israel Finestein
Vallentine Mitchell, £40


Squalor, liquor and love: my life with the satire elite

By Gerald Jacobs, October 23, 2008

The Savoy Grill, London, 1963 - a 21-year-old former debutante sits nervously opposite an imposing businessman. It is a significant occasion, her first meeting with the man about to become her father-in-law.

"Tell me, my dear," he asks, "did you have much trouble at school, being Jewish?"

The man is Jock Luard. The young woman is Elisabeth Longmore, daughter of Wing Commander Richard Longmore, who was killed in action when his daughter was a child.


Review: Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 23, 2008

By Denis MacShane
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99

In 2005-6, the Labour (and Catholic) MP for Rotherham, Denis MacShane, established and chaired an all-party commission of inquiry into antisemitism - the first of its kind in the UK.


Review: Friendly Fire

By David Herman, October 23, 2008

By AB Yehoshua
Halban, £12.99 

It is more than 50 years since AB Yehoshua published his first short stories. He belongs to a generation of Israeli writers who, in his words, helped "consolidate and mould the Israeli identity". Yehoshua recently wrote a fascinating essay about this generation (which also included Appelfeld and Oz). The reason they spoke to readers, he said, is because of the balance they found between "the revealed and the hidden".


Review: A Treaty Of Love

By Madeleine Kingsley, October 17, 2008

By Samir El-Youssef
Halban, £12.99

First, you hope that Israeli Ruth and Palestinian Ibrahim - the displaced lovers of Samir El-Youssef's new novel - will work through their differences and triumph, that their "treaty of love" will symbolise the making of peace in the Middle East. "London is so big," says Ruth, "big enough to make us forget that we belong to hostile people."