English Literature

One writer leads you to another – discovering Lemn Sissay’s ‘Let the Light Pour In’ by Anna Brizzolara – Words Matter.

Anna Brizzolara is a student on the YSJ Creative Writing MA who has recently been focussing on Critical Approaches to ...

#PRIDE2023: SHAKESPEARE? MORE LIKE SHAKESQUEER! RuPaul’s Drag Race by Roger Tomas Arques – Words Matter.

Image via @RuPaulsDragRace “To she, or not to she?” Spanish ERASMUS exchange student Roger Tomas Arques recently took our Shakespeare ...

The impressionist prose of the Polish master stylist Władysław Reymont

For a brief period in late 2018 the name of the Polish novelist Władysław Reymont (1867–1925) surfaced repeatedly in the ...

How Bruno Schulz found freedom on the periphery of life

It’s more than a little discomfiting to read the great Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz’s description, in his diary from the ...

‘The Gravity of Thirst’ by Helen Farish | Original poem | The TLS

I think of that black cat on the Street of the Knights, how its thirst forced it to don a ...

The climate crisis through the prism of ancient myth

Matilda Leyser’s debut novel offers an ancient framework for a contemporary emergency: the climate crisis. Her focus is the story ...

Clever plots and decorous style in women’s tales from the 40s and 50s

The eleven names alphabetically arranged in Lucy Scholes’s collection belong to writers whose work appeared in the welcoming pages of ...

Poetry and words that accompany Pasolini’s film La rabbia

“Why is our life dominated by discontent, by anguish, by the fear of war, by war? To answer this question, ...

An Italian film-maker’s childhood in the fascist era

The film-maker and writer Lorenza Mazzetti was born in Italy in 1927 and, as a young girl, lived through the ...

The stories and poems of a swashbuckling, dissembling writer

When it turned out that Patrick O’Brian’s talent for fiction extended to inventing the story of his own life, his ...

On the enduring influence of the poetry anthology

As collective nouns go, “a serious outbreak of poets”, devised by the Daily Mail in 1915 and quoted by Clare ...

An elegant literary tribute to W. Somerset Maugham

The Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng’s first novel, The Gift of Rain (2007), was longlisted for the Booker prize. His ...

A boxer soaks up punishment in early-twentieth-century Australia

Grimmish is “the strangest book you are likely to read this year”, according to J. M. Coetzee. The author of ...

A young girl goes wandering in the woods – and through the twentieth century

The first business of any fairy tale, according to the Soviet folklorist Vladimir Propp, is to “absent” its hero from ...

A young boy goes missing in the nineteenth-century outback

It is September 1883, in the (then) wheat-farming country of South Australia, and a dust storm is blowing near the ...

The ‘war for democracy’ failed to fulfil its promise back home in America

“Thank God we have a chance to take part in this great conflict against the enemies of humanity”, wrote Captain ...

An Argentine poet’s encyclopedic vision

In his short story “The Aleph”, Jorge Luis Borges mocks what we might call encyclopedic poetry, real and fictional. The ...

‘The Homily Asked What Heaven Was’ by Christian Wiman | Original poem | The TLS

The homily asked what Heaven was, the choir inquired of love. Eternity pulsed in a chance pause, choice light poured ...

Two collections of Russian protest poems

Russian writers of conscience have long tried to wrest back ownership of their language. They have had ample reason to ...

A symbolist novel that inspired an opera and a Hitchcock film

In Georges Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-morte (1892), a widower named Hugues Viane moves to the Flemish city to mourn the death of ...

Jules Verne’s publisher censored his novel to sell more copies

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has not been out of print since it first appeared as a serial in ...

A struggling teenager bonds with his struggling teacher

Elaine Feeney’s new novel, How to Build a Boat, concerns how families come into being, stay together and come apart ...

Life in a lost Shaker colony

In 1999 the novelist Russell Banks stopped at a small library in St Cloud, Florida. A hurricane had recently ripped ...

A faculty promotes dialogue between China’s five main religions

To be a writer in China is to work under the shadow of censorship, what Perry Link once called the ...

A novel of the Cultural Revolution

During the calculated chaos of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–76), millions of urban youths were sent “up to the mountains and ...
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