Essays

Here is a selection of recent essays and reviews I have written

2018

Our Boys by Helen Parr, my review in Prospect, October 2018

Women Talking by Miriam Toews, my review in the Guardian, September 2018

Normal People by Sally Rooney, my review in the Spectator, September 2018

‘A different way of living: Why writers are celebrating middle-age’. My essay on literature and female middle-age in the Guardian, August 2018

Days of Awe by AM Homes, my review in the Observer, July 2018

OK, Mr Field by Katharine Kilalea, my review in the Guardian, July 2018

Motherhood by Sheila Heti, my review in the Guardian, June 2018

Kudos by Rachel Cusk, my review in the Times Literary Supplement, May 2018

Monsieur Ka by Vesna Goldsworthy, my review in the Guardian, April 2018

Upstate by James Wood, my review in the Guardian, March 2018

Maybe Esther by Katja Petrowskaja, my review in the Guardian, February 2018

‘The parent trap: Can you be a good writer and a good parent?’ My essay on literary motherhood in the Guardian, February 2018

Enemies Within by Richard Davenport-Hines, my review in the Guardian, January 2018

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch, my review in the Guardian, January 2018

The Only Story by Julian Barnes, my review in the Spectator, January 2018

2017

Carrington’s Letters edited by Anne Chisholm, my review in the Financial Times, December 2017

‘As a God Might be’ by Neil Griffiths, my review in the Guardian, November 2017

‘Banned by the police: the true stories behind Modigliani’s languorous nudes’, my preview of the Tate Modigliani exhibition in the Guardian, November 2017

‘Mischka’s War’ by Sheila Fitzpatrick, my review in the Guardian, November 2017

‘The Ghost: A Cultural History’ by Susan Owens, my review in the Observer, October 2017

‘Kind of Blue: Making Sense of Melancholia’, my essay about literature, art and melancholia in the Financial Times, September 2017

‘Mayhem’ by Sigrid Rausing, my review in the Guardian, September 2017

‘My Absolute Darling’ by Gabriel Tallent, my review in the Guardian, August 2017

‘I Found My Tribe’ by Ruth Fitzmaurice, my review in the Observer, July 2017

‘In the Days of Rain’ by Rebecca Stott, my review in the Financial Times, July 2017

‘The Idiot’ by Elif Batuman, my review in the Guardian, June 2017

‘The Good Bohemian: The Letters of Ida John’, my review in the Guardian, June 2017

‘On the Edge of Madness: The Terrors and Genius of Alberto Giacometti’, my preview of the Tate exhibition in the Guardian, April 2017

‘The Blood Miracles’ by Lisa McInerney, my review in the Guardian, April 2017

‘M’ by Henry Hemming, my review in the Financial Times, April 2017

‘Four-minute Warning: Time to Boil Your Last Egg’ – 100 Years of Anti-War Protests, my preview of the Imperial War Museum exhibition in the Guardian, March 2017

‘Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life’ by Yiyun Li, my review for the Observer, March 2017

‘A Line Made by Walking’ by Sara Baume, my review for the Guardian, February 2017

‘Once Upon a Time in the East’ by Xiaolu Guo, my review in the Financial Times, January 2017

‘Future Sex’ by Emily Witt, my review in the Observer, January 2017

2016

‘The Golden Legend’ by Nadeem Aslam, my review in the Guardian, December 2016

‘Diary of a Wartime Affair’ by Doreen Bates, my review in the Guardian, December 2016

‘The Lesser Bohemians’ by Eimear McBride, my review in the Guardian, September 2016

‘The War on Women’ by Sue Lloyd-Roberts and ‘This is the Place to Be’ by Lara Pawson, my review in the TLS, October 2016

‘Flâneuse’ by Lauren Elkin, my review in the Guardian, August 2016

‘The Gardener and the Carpenter’ by Alison Gopnik, my review in the Guardian, August 2016

‘Britain’s War: Into Battle’ by Daniel Todman, my review in Prospect, August 2016

‘Behind the Wireless’ by Kate Murphy, my review in the TLS, July 2016

‘The Staircase Girls’ by Catherine Seymour, my review in the Guardian, July 2016

‘Imagine me Gone’ by Adam Haslett, my review in the Guardian, June 2016

‘Serious Sweet’ by AL Kennedy, my review in the Guardian, May 2016

‘The Argonauts’ by Maggie Nelson, my review in the Observer, March 2016

‘At the Existentialist Café’ by Sarah Bakewell, my review in the Guardian, March 2016

‘Cursed Legacy: The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann’ by Frederic Spotts, my review in the Observer, March 2016

‘Big books by blokes about battles’: Why is history still written by men? My response to this question in the Guardian, February 2016

‘The Value of the Novel’ by Peter Boxall, my review in the Guardian, January 2016

2015

‘The Dead Ladies Project’ by Jessa Crispin, my review in the Guardian, December 2015

‘Living on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch’, my review in the Telegraph, November 2015

‘Doris Lessing’s MI5 File: Was she a Threat to the State?’ My article about Doris Lessing’s MI5 files published in the Guardian, November 2015

Dietrich and Riefenstahl by Karin Wieland reviewed in the Literary Review, November 2015

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff reviewed in the Observer, November 2015

Noonday by Pat Barker reviewed in the Guardian, September 2015

A House in St John’s Wood by Matthew Spender reviewed in the Observer, August 2015

Villa America by Liza Klaussmann reviewed in the Guardian, April 2015

A Curious Friendship by Anna Thomasson reviewed in the Guardian, March 2015

Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes by Virginia Nicholson reviewed in the Observer, March 2015

The Bletchley Girls and The Debs of Bletchley Park reviewed in the Guardian, January 2015 

In the Family Way by Jane Robinson reviewed in the Observer, January 2015

2014

The Young Lawrence by Anthony Sattin reviewed in the Observer, November 2014

‘Try the other wrist’, Tales of the 1940s by Werner Sollors reviewed in the London Review of Books, October 2014

Joan of Arc by Helen Castor reviewed in the Observer, October 2014

Modernity Britain by David Kynaston reviewed in the Observer, September 2014

Churchill’s Iceman by Henry Hemming reviewed in the Guardian, August 2014

Hotel Florida by Amanda Vaill reviewed in the Observer, April 2014

Four Sisters by Helen Rappaport reviewed in the Observer, March 2014

Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood reviewed in the Guardian, February 2014

Those Wild Wyndhams by Claudia Renton reviewed in the Observer, February 2014