Susan Jones: Literature, Modernism and Dance (360pp. Oxford University Press. £55) In 1930s literary London, ballet was everywhere. Virginia Woolf, several Stracheys, the Bells, E. M. Forster, H. G. Wells, John Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield, Aldous Huxley, the Sitwells and T. S. Eliot all attended the Ballets Russes. Louis
Isabel Allende, Ripper (Fourth Estate, £12.99, 478 pp.) Some literary writers have patronizing attitudes to genre. John Banville, who writes crime-fiction as Benjamin Black, has said he produces just 100 words a day as a literary novelist, but a couple of thousand as Black. Crime-writing is easy was his subtext.
Ian Rankin, Saints of the Shadow Bible (Orion, 428 pp.) The wait for Rebus’ return was not as long as Holmes’ from the Reichenbach Falls. Only a year after the Edinburgh detective ‘retired’, readers were reassured he would return, and he did, working cold cases. Now he’s back on the
Andrew Lycett: Wilkie Collins, A Life of Sensation (Hutchinson, 544 pp.) A nondescript street near Regent’s Park in London bears a blue plaque. It uses the old, postwar style, with a minimum of information: ‘Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), novelist, lived here’. Whenever I pass it, I always wonder, if I only
Van Gogh at Work: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Marije Vellekoop, with Nienke Bakker; translated by Ted Alkins, Michael Hoyle and Beverley Jackson (304pp. Brussels: Mercatorfonds. £40) On May Day, thousands of Amsterdammers queued in the spring sunshine as the Van Gogh Museum formally reopened its doors after a seven-month refit,
Poor Nijinsky. Poor sad, mad, vanished Nijinsky. His career was astonishingly brief, the trail that was left in his meteoric wake so persistent it is hard to believe he danced for little more than seven years. He was born in 1889 or 1890, to Polish dancers working in Russia (Nijinsky
‘A man is not much if he can’t depend on himself, and nothing if others can’t depend on him.” So says business tycoon Victor Delahaye at the start of Vengeance (Henry Holt, 304 pages, $26), the fifth of Benjamin Black’s mysteries set in 1950s Dublin. After embellishing this bit of
The British upper classes have long had a problem with their younger sons. The eldest son inherits, the daughters are married off, but what to do with the other boys? One answer was, ship ’em out. It was one of P.G. Wodehouse’s most joyous diversions to have feckless younger sons