Remembered chiefly for his time as editor of the avant-garde monthly publication The Dial in the 1920s when modernism was at its apogee, Scofield Thayer remained an elusive and essentially self-contradictory figure for literary and art historians. The American poet, publisher, philanthropist and aesthete has been described as a ‘Jekyll-and-Hyde paradox’, with his socialist leanings set against a bourgeois lifestyle, his unmistakable misogyny placed in blatant antithesis with a tenderly romanticist spirit. Perhaps no work has shed such an unique light on Thayer the private man than Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection, a selective catalogue as well as an illuminated biographical study on the collector and the artists alike.
Mothers represents more than a balling-up of shorter pieces, and is both tonally very even and thematically consistent. Many of the stories within concern characters at various stages in life who find themselves abroad, as well as caught in moments of personal transition. It is probably appropriate, considering the format of the short story and its necessary brevity, that Power explores ideas around transience, caprice and the unknowability of human emotions, as nearly every story in the collection does. It is not that Mothers has an inappropriate focus, but rather the format itself that is generally dissatisfying.
Ok, Mr Field is Faber’s Lead Debut for 2018 and, in both its publication in June and serialisation in The Paris Review, it represents the emergence of what we might call Faber’s Lead Debutante – young author Katherine Kilalea. While Kilalea has had a poetry collection published in 2009 and has received preliminary attention from the Southbank Centre and the mainstream press for her writing, all eyes are very much upon the young South African with this slim but promising first novel. If it were the Gala Ball, she would be preparing to make her grand entrance down the staircase in all pomp and circumstance. You can practically hear the creak of necks being craned.
Hilton is back with another spicy thriller set in the seething underbelly of the international art scene – Ultima.
Lately, whenever someone’s asked me what I was reading, I’ve told them: ‘A middle-aged woman who starts fucking a merman’. If I were to sit and tell them what The Pisces is really about it would probably take more time than they’d be willing to spare.
Anna’s academic husband has lost his job. Anna is an author living in London’s Kensal Rise and mother to two almost grown up children, the eldest at university. Her irksomely wise and maddeningly larger-than-life Italian grandmother must be taken out of an expensive care home to live with them. Suddenly they have no money. Her marriage is rocky. Things look glum, even desperate. So resourceful Anna, whose charm and grace make her friends easily, hits upon the bright idea of a writers’ co-operative which will publish their work on a pay-per-story website.
The sights and wonders of Murray’s Club – London’s first Topless and Cabaret Club, famous for launching the careers of Mandy Rice Davis and Christine Keeler – are available to experience now, and even purchase, at the Museum of Soho.
Oh god – I loved this book. Mainly because it's pour les femmes and, in their wisdom, Erotic Towers sent it to me, an unreconstructed male, and therefore quite possibly the last person in the world who should review it.
My eagerness to find out what Jive – We-Vibe’s new sex toy – was all about, led me to whipping out the box in Five Guys, to the horror/delight of my sister. The packaging was sleek, and Jive was nestled inside – a rounded g-spot vibrator with a thin strip of silicone meant to be left outside the body so you can tug the toy out again. Coloured a light, calming blue, it is one of the least intimidating sex toys I have ever seen.
I wouldn’t call myself sexually illiterate, but I would say that, over the past year, my view of sex has been on a one-track journey. For me, love doesn’t necessarily come into it. Trust does, kink does, pleasure does. But not love. I knew, then, that reading Sensation would challenge me – this is not a book that was going to tell me what’s hot about being whipped, and why it’s fine to have one night stands with people you feel little to no connection with. For me, those are safe topics. Isabel Losada’s delving into the relation between sex and spirituality, her focus on slow, purposeful exploration, and her self-professed, charming fascination with human happiness, all have me holding Sensation as if it’s a bomb about to go off.