Articles

Don’t steal Milo’s book – The Leveller

Last week I decided to steal Milo Yiannopolous’s book. I was curious to see what was in this memoir that Simon & Schuster had originally paid $250,000 for before withdrawing publication, but I was loath to add to his sales. Having never stolen anything before, I turned to Twitter for advice.

Sinéad O’Connor Has Never Been Timid

After she uploaded a distressing video this week, it’s worth remembering that bravery and vulnerability have always been central to O’Connor’s music, just as they have been to her interactions with the public.

If Richard Dawkins can’t understand why he was no-platformed, then maybe he’s not as smart as he thinks he is

On Thursday KPFA Radio in Berkeley, California, sent emails to hundreds of people with tickets to hear Richard Dawkins speak, explaining the event had been cancelled due to Dawkins’s “abusive… tweets and other comments on Islam”. Professor Dawkins responded by saying: “I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that.

Nick Cave, the Shaman

To see Nick Cave live is to see a rock star fulfill his true calling, transporting self and audience to the beyond.

‘White Tears’ Is a New Novel About White People Stealing Black Music

Hari Kunzru’s ‘White Tears’ is a brilliant, searing take on the complex issue of cultural appropriation.

Rajeev Balasubramanyam: George Michael and Me

I used to listen to Wham! in secret. It was 1984 and I was nine. My school was in a white and mostly working-class village in Lancashire. I knew only one other Wham! fan and, though it’s been thirty years since we last met, he was the first person I contacted after I heard George […]

Why I didn’t want to mark myself safe on Facebook during the Berlin attack

It was nearly midnight when the prisoners were brought in. A couple of the Iraqi soldiers in the room had already drifted off to sleep in the effortless manner of front liners, while those still awake had dropped the volume on their conversation to a murmur, focused mainly on how to capture the unit’s final objective from Islamic State the following day.

Peace Train in the Age of Donald Trump

A night in London with Yusuf / Cat Stevens, an artist whose 50 year career of preaching peace and love feels more necessary than ever.

Touring Trump’s America on Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award on Wednesday night. In his acceptance speech he told us, “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland. Be kind to everybody. Make art and fight the power.” Not only was this apt for the evening, but it also describes the…

An American State of Grace: Darkness and Light in Leonard Cohen’s Political Imagination

How would the Poet Laureate of Pessimism respond to a Donald Trump presidency?

Trump and White Narcissism

While President elect Donald Trump was giving his victory speech, my attention fell a few inches to his right onto the small, lily-white boy in a dark suit and silver tie. He, the 10 year old Barron Trump, son of Donald and Melania, was fidgeting, swaying, and seemed awkward, self-conscious, as though he would rather be anywhere than on that stage in front of the entire world.

Funny Writers of Color Are Finally Being Taken Seriously

Paul Beatty’s Man Booker-winning novel ‘The Sellout’ is part of a new wave of very funny, very serious literary works.

Opinion | The Nobel Committee got it wrong: Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the writer the world needs now

Rajeev Balasubramanyam is an award-winning novelist with a PhD in black and Asian British literature. His latest book is called “Starstruck.” He is on Twitter at @Rajeevbalasu. Every year I root for Ngugi wa Thiong’o to win the Nobel Prize for literature. The Kenyan writer has been a favorite to win for years.

“10 Alternative Rules for Writers” by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

1 Cultivate social anxiety and some sort of an addiction. This will prevent you from getting a job. #2 Scorn the work of other writers, preferably anonymously on the Internet. It makes you feel strong and powerful. #3 Do not waste time ‘improving self-esteem’. You are a bad person.

Rajeev Balasubramanyam: No thank you, Jeeves

A few years ago, NewSouth Books provoked controversy by issuing an edition of Huckleberry Finn with the N-word (which appears more than 200 times in the novel) altered to ‘slave’. Who would be bowdlerised next? Conrad? Kipling? No one seemed to think of P.G. Wodehouse and yet, rereading Thank You, Jeeves (1934) a few days […]

Donald Trump, “American Psycho” muse: How the “Art of the Deal” elitist became a poor man’s Patrick Bateman – and now he’s a real threat

Three-quarters of the way through Brett Easton Ellis’s “American Psycho,” a detective visits Patrick Bateman’s office on Wall Street to inquire about a missing banker. Bateman, who has already told us how he murdered this man, does his best to remain calm.

Hollywood and the ‘R’ Word

by Rajeev Balasubramanyam Chris Rock did it. He used the ‘R-word’. ‘Here’s the real question,’ he said on Oscar night. ‘The real question everybody wants to know…: Is Hollywood racist? Is Hollywood racist?’ He said it twice. And then he answered it. ‘You’re damn right Hollywood is racist.

Around the World

The modern prose novel emerged in the late 18th century as a vehicle for the articulation of national identity. In Europe, the novel’s popularitymarked the rapidly diminishing importance of the old transnational orders of religion, empire and aristocracy vis-à-vis the new dominance of the nation state.