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  LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, Celeste Ng’s new novel, builds on the extraordinary success of her debut Everything I Never Told You. It opens with a momentous event: a house fire in the seemingly idyllic Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights where everything runs to order. The house in question belongs to Mr and Mrs Richardson, model … Continue readings

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  What the devil are those women doing on the wharf?’ Captain Barsley roared, as the dockworker clambered over the side from the rowboat… The man dropped to the deck, eyes round. ‘It’s true! You’re here!’ he blurted out. ‘Of course, I’m here,’ the Captain snarled. But the man wasn’t looking at Barsley. He was … Continue readings

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  PIER OF THE YEAR AND NOW the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Award 2017 – the accolades just keep coming for Hastings Pier. A community-led project, designed and restored by London-based architects dRMM (Alex de Rijke, Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan), the pier is, in RIBA president Ben Derbyshire’s words, a … Continue readings

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  The Exbury Egg is a thing of beauty and, after a somewhat epic journey along Britain’s highways, byways and waterways, it has come to rest in the courtyard outside the Jerwood Gallery. Artist Stephen Turner, whose work often challenges the relationship between natural and human-constructed environments, says, ‘an egg is crucial as a way … Continue readings

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  IN THE LIGHT OF SURREALISM #2 and INVERSE REFLECTION, the two exhibitions opening at the Arts Forum this week, draw, consciously or unconsciously, on tenets of surrealism. One of the most influential cultural movements of the twentieth century, surrealism continues to inspire artists today. But what does it mean? ‘I think the word is … Continue readings

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  THE SUMMER OF SERENDIPITY, best-selling novelist Ali McNamara’s latest offering, is set in the West Coast of Ireland, in the beautiful fictional town of Ballykiltara, drawn from real-life Killarney. It’s to here that heroine Ren (Serendipity) Parker and her fun-loving sidekick, Kiki, travel to find the perfect property for their latest client. It’s an … Continue readings

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  SUMMER’S LEASE, CARRIE ELKS’ LATEST BOOK, opens with heroine Ceska Shakespeare dealing with a life that’s in veritable freefall. Nothing is going right. Enter Hugh, her fairy godfather – and one minute Ceska’s scraping pennies together in the less than salubrious part of London in which she lives, the next she’s house-sitting Villa Palladino, … Continue readings

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  SET IN THE WILDS OF WESTERN MONTANA, COME SUNDOWN, like many of the best novels by Nora Roberts, focuses on family – blood or otherwise – spiced up with just enough murder, madness and, of course, romance to sustain our interest. At the heart of the story lies the relationship between protagonists Bodine Longbow, … Continue readings

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  ‘Pho is so elemental to Vietnamese culture that people talk about it in terms of romantic relationships. Rice is the dutiful wife that you can rely on … Pho is the flirty mistress that you slip away to visit.’   … SO BEGINS ANDREA NGUYEN’S BRILLIANT INTRODUCTION TO ALL THINGS PHO. Now, I’m a … Continue readings

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   ‘If my future wasn’t in the balance, if I wasn’t scared to hell, I’d say I’ve enjoyed this trial.’ Benson nodded, contradicting Tess’s shake of the head. ‘Honestly. If I’d known what being a barrister involved, if I’d realised what happens in a courtroom, this is what I’d like to have done with my … Continue readings

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  JOHN FAIRFAX is the pen name of award-winning crime writer and former barrister William Brodrick. John, whose new book, Summary Justice, is published by Little, Brown, joins us in The Literary Lounge to answer a few questions. Summary Justice is the first in a new London-based legal series featuring former convict-turned barrister William Benson … Continue readings

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  celebrating that which is noble, wonderful and honourable in all of us That we, in the 21st century, still need some acknowledgement, some recognition, some celebration to say we matter is wrong. And yet, it is what it is. And, I type that with absolutely no intention of being flippant, but just to state … Continue readings