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Lord Dyson, a former master of the rolls, highlights difficult relationship between judiciary and senior politicians
The former lord chancellor Chris Grayling “never believed access to social justice” was important while Liz Truss was a “disaster” in the same role, according to a highly revealing memoir by one of the country’s most senior, recently retired judges.
In his autobiography, Lord Dyson, formerly master of the rolls and a supreme court justice, records how he managed to “water down” government cuts to legal aid, regrets the downgrading of the justice secretary’s position and deplores the rise of antisemitism.Continue reading...
Halperin, who was accused of sexual misconduct by at least a dozen women at ABC News, to release book on how to beat Trump
Mark Halperin, one of the most high-profile media figures to fall over sexual misconduct allegations made in the #MeToo era, is making an attempted comeback with a new book deal expected to be announced on Monday.
The revelation of Halperin’s new book, How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take, first reported by Politico, has put the pundit back under the spotlight and reignited the anger of critics including some of his original female detractors. It has also put the campaign experts and analysts who cooperated with him over his book into the line of fire.Continue reading...
Poet Laurie Sheck was investigated for her use of the racial slur, but the New School has now dismissed concerns
Laurie Sheck, the poet and professor who was investigated by her university for quoting James Baldwin’s use of the N-word in a graduate class, has been cleared of charges of racial discrimination.
After assigning Baldwin’s 1962 essay The Creative Process to her class at the New School in New York, Sheck had asked the students to discuss how the 2016 documentary about the writer and civil rights activist, I Am Not Your Negro, altered Baldwin’s actual quote, in which he had used the racial slur. A graduate student, who, like Sheck, is white, had objected to her language.Continue reading...
In Crudo, her winning novel, Laing explained she had ‘said that competition has no place in art and I meant it’
Olivia Laing, who this weekend won the £10,000 James Tait Black award for her debut novel Crudo, will not be taking all of her winnings home with her. Instead, the acclaimed author has announced she will be dividing the money between her fellow shortlisted writers, because “competition has no place in art”.
Established in 1919, the James Tait Black prizes have in the past gone to names from Angela Carter to Cormac McCarthy. Crudo, in which Laing channels the spirit of the writer and performance artist Kathy Acker, had been shortlisted alongside three other novels. Judge Alex Lawrie said Crudo was “fiction at its finest: a bold and reactive political novel that captures a raw slice of contemporary history with pace, charm, and wit”.Continue reading...
The Kurdish-Iranian author, who wrote using a smuggled phone, receives awards by Skype because he remains in detention
Behrouz Boochani is one of Australia’s most-celebrated contemporary writers. Last week, the Kurdish-Iranian journalist won a A$25,000 (£14,000) national biography award for No Friend but the Mountains, a book judges described as “profoundly important”. It wasn’t the first prize the book had received in Australia: it has now won the Victorian Premier’s Literary award, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary award and the Australian Book Industry’s non-fiction book of the year.
One critic described it as a “masterpiece,” another called it “the standout book of the year” and another, novelist Michelle de Kretser, said it was “lucid, poetic and devastating”.
This article was amended to on 19 August to include the 2012 agreement between Australia and Papua New Guinea to re-open the processing centre on Manus IslandContinue reading...
Penguin group rejects claim of censorship after halting publication of Simon Akam’s The Changing of the Guard
After beating four other publishing houses in an auction, William Heinemann was in no doubt that The Changing of the Guard would more than reward the five-figure advance it paid to its author, Simon Akam.
The publisher boasted that the 182,000-word book examining the evolution of the British Army after 9/11 would be “an explosive, intimate authoritative account … based on exclusive interviews, rigorous research and on-the-ground reporting”.Continue reading...
Whether on Radio 4 or Amazon Audible, the appetite for classic works in audio form has never been greater
Four hours of Beatrix Potter, 10 hours of Marcel Proust, or 72 hours of Sherlock Holmes. How about every single word of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and George Eliot’s Silas Marner? Sound overwhelming? Radio bosses clearly think not – so much so they have commissioned a plethora of literary adaptations to delight growing numbers of fans of “the long listen”.
“There is an appetite for the epic that has simply surpassed our expectations,” says Celia De Wolff, who has produced and directed a marathon adaptation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, to be broadcast over three days this bank holiday weekend on Radio 4. A seven-volume epic published between 1913 and 1927 may not seem an obvious choice for contemporary audiences short on time but rich in entertainment options, but a fast-growing audience is transforming the industry.Continue reading...
The West Side Story composer met and fell in love with a young Japanese fan on tour and their romance lasted until his death
One was among the most brilliant composers and conductors of the 20th century, a sexagenarian who brought the world one of the great love stories of musical theatre. The other was a 26-year-old who worked in a Tokyo insurance company. Now, a newly revealed cache of letters shows that in the last decade of his life Leonard Bernstein embarked on a passionate relationship with a Japanese man.
“I noticed that he was gazing upon me,” Kunihiko Hashimoto, now 66, said. It is hard to explain about his eyes. It was not to try to talk to me nor seduce me, just he was looking at me. It was irresistible.”Continue reading...
Maus author says he was told the comics giant – whose chairman is a prominent Trump supporter – was trying to remain apolitical
Art Spiegelman, the legendary graphic novelist behind Maus, has claimed that he was asked to remove criticism of Donald Trump from his introduction to a forthcoming Marvel book, because the comics publisher – whose chairman has donated to Trump’s campaign – is trying to stay “apolitical”.
Spiegelman, who won a Pulitzer prize for Maus, his story of the Holocaust, has written for Saturday’s Guardian that he was approached by publisher the Folio Society to write an introduction to Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949, a collection ranging from Captain America to the Human Torch.Continue reading...