Biracial Readers and Choosing a Side, a guest post by Michael Mann

Choosing sides I think biracial children, as readers, often have to choose a side. When I was younger, the choice was limited – I had Indian mythology for my dad’s side, and everything else for my English side. Now the choice has improved hugely. From Nizrana Farook to Roshani Chokshi, I feel envious of the … Read more

The Dark Side of the New Hollywood: On Jon Lewis’s “Road Trip to Nowhere”

JULY 30, 2022 THE MANSON MURDERS rocked Hollywood and the nation in 1969. Joan Didion, who was living in Los Angeles at the time, recalled that “no one was surprised.” The affluent Hollywood Hills were rife with questionable characters on the margins of the film industry, who took many high-profile victims along the way. Maybe … Read more

The Iron Duke’s feminine side

For two centuries, gossip, rumour and legend have befogged reports of the Duke of Wellington’s relationships with women. Even his most celebrated words about one liaison are apocryphal. The claim that he returned a blackmailing letter from the courtesan Harriette Wilson (who demanded money to keep the names of eminent patrons out of her memoirs … Read more

A Genius on the Wrong Side of History: Tolstoy’s Conflicts and Contradictions

IT IS DAUNTING to write a biography of Tolstoy. Hundreds or even thousands of books have already put each detail of his life and work under a microscope, and the archives contain no more hidden treasures. Yet, new interpretations of Tolstoy’s life continue to pour in, with more expected in the run-up to the writer’s … Read more