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Jun 04, 2022
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Jun 03, 2022

The story of the clergymen, soldiers, architects, actors and apothecaries forced to rub shoulders during desperate times

In the centuries following the burning down of Basing House by Oliver Cromwell in 1645, all sorts of odd things kept turning up in the ruins. There was fine glass from Venice, an ivory cup from west Africa, apothecary jars from Delft and fragments of a Chinese bowl. Random though these remnants were, they were nothing compared with the assorted jumble of house guests who had left them behind. For three years at the height of England’s civil war, 500 or so mostly strangers had been obliged to cram hugger-mugger into the Tudor castle, which lay two miles east of Basingstoke. Sheltered within the massive earthwork fortifications were Roman Catholics and Anglicans, soldiers and architects, actors and apothecaries, people who burned with righteous anger at what was happening to their beloved country, and those who couldn’t wait for the whole thing to be over. The one thing they all had in common was that they were nominally king’s men, on the side of Charles I in his bloody and seemingly endless struggle against his own parliament.

In The Siege of Loyalty House the historian Jessie Childs, whose great strength is her ability to deliver first-rate scholarship in really luscious prose, uses Basing as a microcosm through which to view the civil war in all its fog and mess. While each side liked to trade in stereotypes – Cavaliers cut off old ladies’ heads and played tennis with them, Puritans wanted to cancel Christmas – if you asked people why they were for or against the king they replied vaguely in terms of “religion”, “liberty”, “loyalty” and “law”. The ageing architect Inigo Jones appears to have been holed up in Basing House for no other reason than his role as the Stuarts’ in-house purveyor of grand buildings and court masques. Then there was Thomas Fuller, a clergyman who took advantage of the downtime offered by the siege to write a vast study of Britain patchworked from its “native commodities and rarities”. Hampshire, for Fuller, was a place of “malignant” moles, “troutful waters” and the best bacon in the land. All this hectic record-making was his way of keeping the olden days safe even as they were going up in smoke.

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Jun 03, 2022

Quiet by Victoria Adukwei Bulley; More Fiya, edited by Kayo Chingonyi; The Lascaux Notebooks by Jean-Luc Champerret, edited and translated by Philip Terry; and Continuous Creation by Les Murray

Quiet by Victoria Adukwei Bulley (Faber, £10.99)
“Bones can speak long after the flesh has gone.” Victoria Adukwei Bulley’s debut is an exploration of the power of silence as a means of resistance, a way of carving space for the self in a hostile world. Rooted in Black feminist thinking, the poems have a clear-eyed elegance, buttressed with a controlled ferocity that is acute on the damage done by institutional blankness, and how it forces an uncomfortable conformity: “They were too happy / to realise they were poster girls / for the effacement of themselves.” Bulley, a former Barbican Young Poet and poet-in-residence at the V&A Museum, achieves a tone both delicate and strong, studded with moments that catch the breath: “if your pain is alive in me / so too must be your joy”. With a generous and interrogative spirit, Quiet marks the arrival of a major poetic talent.

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Jun 03, 2022

The standup narrates her soul-baring work, which pushes the boundaries of comedy

Hannah Gadsby’s memoir begins, in typically contrary fashion, with the epilogue. Here the self-styled “stand-up performance artist” discusses the runaway hit that was her 2018 show, Nanette, a visceral, soul-baring work that pushed at the boundaries of comedy and, thanks to a Netflix special, turned her into a global sensation. She recalls turning up to the Netflix Emmys party where her most pressing thought was: “What kind of monster would choose a white carpet for an outdoor event?” There she was summoned for an audience with Jennifer Aniston, who confided she hadn’t watched Nanette but she was sure she would love it when she did. Gadsby asked, “But what if you hate it?”, at which Aniston patted her hand reassuringly and replied: “I won’t tell you.”

Gadsby goes on to plot her journey from rural Tasmania as the youngest of five children, her queer coming-of-age (homosexuality was illegal in Tasmania until 1997), her experiences of sexual violence and misogyny, her early career as a stand-up and a brief flirtation with cocaine. We also learn of her diagnoses, as an adult, of autism and ADHD, a condition that, she notes, “makes a lot of people very, very angry … Too many people have been conditioned to believe ADHD is a nonsense disease that is not so much over-diagnosed but entirely under-existing.” Fans of Gadsby’s standup will find much to enjoy in her narration, which is similarly quizzical, self-deprecating and sardonic but also contains moments of startling candour and intimacy. The footnotes, in which she provides contextual asides such as “In my defence, my best friend, Douglas, is a dog”, are also to be savoured.

• Ten Steps to Nanette is available from WF Howes, 13hr 47min

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Jun 03, 2022

The novelist on polar exploration, Middlemarch and reading Donna Tartt in the pool

My earliest reading memory
I remember lying in bed with my mother while she read picture books to me when I was three or four, but I think that’s probably an amalgam memory, since she did this every night. I also remember her reading aloud to the whole family while we drove cross-country. Bunnicula by James and Deobrah Howe, about a vampiric rabbit, and its sequel Howliday Inn were big hits.

My favourite book growing up
I loved slightly starchy, slightly exotic (to me), varyingly outdated children’s novels: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Also, horse books.

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Jun 03, 2022

A history of pioneering first world war plastic surgeon Harold Gillies gives due weight to the stories of the men he treated

For many men fighting in the first world war, the fear of being permanently disabled was more terrifying than death. Yet worse even than the prospect of a life-changing disability was the horror of facial disfigurement. While men who lost a limb were treated as heroes, those who suffered facial injuries were often shunned or reviled. Mothers hurried their children indoors to avoid seeing these disfigured men; women broke off engagements with their mutilated fiances.

Harold Gillies, a New Zealand-born surgeon who trained in Britain, helped thousands of men to literally face the world again. His work in the unit he created at the Queen’s Hospital, Sidcup, has been overshadowed by the more familiar story of his cousin, Archibald McIndoe, who rebuilt the burnt faces of pilots in his “Guinea Pig Club” in the second world war. Yet it was Gillies, an extraordinarily compassionate man as well as a skilled surgeon, who really transformed the speciality of plastic surgery.

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Jun 02, 2022

Infused with magic and black humour, these fables of women affected by Russian aggression have accrued an unsettling timeliness

Yevgenia Belorusets is a Ukrainian photographer, writer and artist. For more than a decade, she has been documenting the ominous splits in the social fabric of her country. Her installations and photographic work have showcased the lives of female factory workers, impoverished villagers in western Ukraine, the country’s persecuted Roma citizens, and its LGBTQ community. In 2012 an exhibition in Kyiv of her photographs about non-traditional families was vandalised by rightwing activists. Since 2014, she has worked and reported from the Russian-backed breakaway enclaves around Luhansk and Donetsk, where a conflict was unfolding to the almost complete indifference of the outside world.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, all that has changed. A previously obscure war and its attendant disputes over language, nationhood, the Orthodox church and the meaning of fascism have become matters of existential concern for our entire planet.

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Jun 02, 2022

This chilling tale of power and corruption, based on a true crime involving brutality in the Oakland police department, announces a bold new voice

When asked how to write in a world dominated by a white culture, Toni Morrison once responded: “By trying to alter language, simply to free it up, not to repress or confine it … Tease it. Blast its racist straitjacket.” At a time when structural imbalances of capital, health, gender and race deepen divides, the young American Leila Mottley’s debut novel is a searing testament to the liberated spirit and explosive ingenuity of such storytelling.

Based on a true crime in 2015 involving institutional exploitation, brutality and corruption in the Oakland police department, Nightcrawling gives voice to 17-year-old Kiara Johnson, who, after her father’s death and mother’s detention in a rehab facility, becomes a sex worker to pay for rent hikes. She also needs to look after her disillusioned older brother Marcus, who spends his time on music, and Trevor, a nine-year-old left behind by a neighbour. Drugs, sex and power struggles are a familiar premise from television dramas such as The Wire. What makes Nightcrawling scarring and unforgettable as a novel is Mottley’s ability to change our language about and perception of the repressed and confined. She does this by entering the mind, body and soul of Kiara, one of the toughest and kindest young heroines of our time.

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Jun 02, 2022

A scrupulously researched attempt to explain fabled Vogue editor Anna Wintour fails to probe deeply enough

Any book that claims to offer an insight into Anna Wintour, the longterm editor-in-chief of US Vogue, is a guaranteed bestseller. This is as true of fiction (The Devil Wears Prada, by Wintour’s former assistant, Lauren Weisberger) as it is of schlocky biographies (Front Row: the Cool Life and Hot Times of Anna Wintour by Jerry Oppenheimer) and hatchet jobs by those who know her (2020’s The Chiffon Trenches, in which her former close friend and colleague, the late André Leon Talley, claimed she is not “capable of simple human kindness”). No other magazine editor has ever held such fascination for the public. But why?

According to Amy Odell in her semi-authorised biography, Anna (Wintour herself did not contribute, but Odell thanks her “for allowing me into her world”), the answer is sexism: “It is probably [Wintour]’s fearsome reputation that first comes to mind when her name is mentioned … Though if a man did her job as well and with similar affectations, his discipline and commitment would likely be celebrated,” she writes. This is a very zeitgeisty point to make, but is it actually true? If a male editor hired a female journalist, and then packed her off to get a haircut, a better wardrobe and skirts cut to “the regulation 19 inches”, as Wintour did according to Odell’s book, would that be celebrated? And if a male editor commissioned a puff piece about Asma al-Assad in 2010 and then, going against the advice of the writer of the piece, Joan Juliet Buck, and some of her staff, insisted on running it in the magazine just because he “liked the photo of Asma”, and then did not renew poor Buck’s contract when there was a public backlash, would that be applauded? (Full disclosure: US Vogue asked me, several times, to interview al-Assad for them in 2010. I declined.)

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Jun 01, 2022

From Roger Federer to Bob Dylan, George Best to Jean Rhys, Geoff Dyer roams widely in this finely crafted study of endings

Geoff Dyer has always been an essentially youthful literary presence. Across a career that has blended novels, biography, essays, criticism, memoir and journalism there has been a consistently wide-eyed curiosity about the disparate things that catch his attention: DH Lawrence; jazz; Burning Man; Russian cinema; drugs; the Somme … Of course, one of the main things that has always caught Dyer’s attention is Geoff Dyer, and he now attempts to bring his trademark freshness, bounce and humour to an examination of the decidedly unyouthful spheres of “things coming to an end, artists’ last works, time running out”. This is his moment. While Dyer may still be young at heart, he is also now in his mid 60s, had a mini-stroke in his mid 50s and his tennis habit has left him with “multiple permutations of trouble: rotator cuff, hip flexor, wrist, cricked neck, lower back, and bad knees (both)”.

Dyer’s obsession with tennis has only grown in intensity over the years. He still plays twice a week – although these days he’s unable to serve overarm – and his TV time has been significantly multiplied by a friend sharing a password for the Tennis Channel. The endless speculation as to Roger Federer’s retirement has naturally been of interest and it became important to him “that a book underwritten by my own experience of the changes wrought by ageing should be completed before Roger’s retirement”. (“Yes, ‘Roger’, not ‘Federer’,” he explains, “even though I’ve never met him it’s Roger, always and only Roger.”)

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Jun 01, 2022

From precise transliterations of birdsong to a quest for one square inch of silence, these stories teach us how to open our ears to the world

Sound is a great connector among animals. A song or call links one creature to another almost instantaneously, like a telepathic signal that passes through dense vegetation and the darkest night. Sound also discloses the state of the non-animal world: the sonic textures of wind in trees, flowing water and geologic rumblings all unite attentive ears to the energies and stories unfolding around us. Yet we live in a world of acoustic overstimulation that often requires that we shut down our hearing in order to focus or block out unwanted noise. How might we relearn to hear the non-human world, both as a source of joy and a way to ground ourselves in the realities of the living world?

In my book, Sounds Wild and Broken, I listen both in the present moment and in deep time. I ask: When did animals first start to sing? What can we learn about evolutionary creativity from the ever-changing drama of bird, frog and insect life outside the window? How might the glorious and troubling convergences of human and non-human sound in the city and the ocean guide us to a more just future?

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Jun 01, 2022

A paean to people and nature in a fictional moorland village, from prehistory to 2099

Few books have such a damply pungent sense of place as Tom Cox’s intriguing first novel. Its setting is the fictional village of Underhill and the moorland that surrounds it, and Cox heralds his time “living and walking” on Dartmoor as inspiration. Fittingly, Villager gives us a landscape of wonder, the peaty soil thick with history while folk tales and gossip fill its contours with life.

Cox’s writing career has been propelled by a rich variety of enthusiasms. His 2007 memoir Bring Me the Head of Sergio Garcia described his disastrous attempt to become a professional golfer; his other memoirs, podcasts, blogs and tweets feature everything from vinyl (he once reviewed music for the Guardian) to hills, sheep, interior design, pixies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his many cats.

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Jun 01, 2022

The writer’s affable misanthropy and self-deprecation are on display in a new set of reflections on life and death

David Sedaris lives in West Sussex – where he has attained local treasure status thanks to his proclivity for late-night litter-picking – but spent the Covid lockdowns in New York. As a self-confessed attention junkie, the enforced hiatus hit him hard. Of the live audiences he misses, he writes: “It’s not just their laughter I pay attention to but also the quality of their silence” – and you can’t replicate that over Zoom. In this new memoir, Sedaris recounts his lockdown experience with his customary blend of wry self-deprecation and affable misanthropy. He recalls how the pandemic prompted an outbreak of competitive piety – a “new spirit of one-downmanship” – among ordinary Americans: “It was a golden era … for the self-righteous.”

Happy-Go-Lucky is made up of 18 short essays, several of them set in the very recent past, others reminiscing about earlier times: a late-90s sojourn in Normandy; amusing exchanges with taxi drivers in eastern Europe; a visit to a shooting range in his native North Carolina with his sister, Amy. At a graduation address to students of Oberlin college in Ohio he urges the assembled youngsters to reject priggish philistinism: “The goal is to have less in common with the Taliban, not more.”

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May 31, 2022

Half of humanity disappears in this disturbing study of loss, grief and moral sacrifice

In Sandra Newman’s fifth novel, all human beings and foetuses with a Y chromosome disappear in an instant, leaving the XXs to celebrate, grieve or organise in a radically altered world. To create a work of fiction with such a stark premise – as Newman also did in her previous high-concept novel, The Heavens, a time-travelling tale set between a reconfigured present-day New York and 16th-century England – runs the risk of confronting the reader with a task of reimagining that is hard to see beyond.

But although it’s true that The Men never allows us to forget its dramatic first principle, numerous other strands and themes emerge: the long aftermath of trauma and coercive control; various manifestations of charisma and complicity; the insidious, dehumanising effects of a society in thrall to screen representations of reality. It is also a novel about the lengths to which we might all go to assuage individual loss and grief; if the world turned out to be a better place without your loved one, would you sacrifice the greater good to turn the clock back?

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May 31, 2022

Marcus Rashford channels Scooby-Doo, more girls solve mysteries, while two historical young Black Britons join forces in theatreland

The modern plague of celebrity children’s authors has honourable exemplars. Step forward, child poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, who follows his hit of 2021, You Are a Champion (voted book of the year at last week’s Nibbies), and his children’s book club with his middle-grade fiction debut.

The Beast Beyond the Fence (Macmillan, £6.99), the first of The Breakfast Club Adventurers series, was co-written with Alex Falase-Koya and stars a football-mad, 12-year-old kid called Marcus. His touch has deserted him since his most cherished ball disappeared over the school fence. An uncertain alliance forms at the school breakfast club to solve this and other mysteries. But a terrifying, ectoplasm-oozing beast lurks behind the fence.

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May 30, 2022

A teenager has to care for his terminally ill parent in Lish’s formidable follow-up to his lauded debut, Preparation for the Next Life

The biographical note to Atticus Lish’s 2015 debut, Preparation for the Next Life, lost no time answering the question: yes, he is the son of “legendary writer and editor” Gordon Lish, whose noted severity with a blue pencil made Raymond Carver a byword for minimalism. Yet Lish Jr’s other credentials were nearly as unique: in place of the usual creative writing degree and magazine credits, he listed past jobs as a removal man, builder, factory worker, security guard and (briefly) a marine. The novel itself tugged against literary trends too: outward facing, without a writer-adjacent protagonist in sight, it told of the thwarted romance between a homeless Iraq veteran and an undocumented Uyghur refugee down and out in post-9/11 New York.

His equally formidable new novel likewise draws power from plunging into lives most writers ignore. Set largely over four years in mid-00s Boston, it follows Corey, who drops out of high school in his late teens to earn money and keep house after his mother, Gloria, is struck at 40 by a degenerative nerve disease. Their plight spares him none of the regular coming-of-age yearnings and the gut-level dread that hangs over the book lies not only in the steady creep of Gloria’s symptoms, but in our dawning sense that Corey is looking in all the worst possible places for help figuring himself out.

For a start, there’s his uneasy friendship with another student, Adrian, a body-building Nietzsche fanatic interested in explosives and what he unironically declares “the problem of women”. Closer to home, there’s his estranged father, Leonard, a security guard who drifts back into Gloria’s orbit in the wake of her diagnosis, but seemingly to sponge rather than help. When she falls over while navigating public transport – because Leonard has gone awol with her car – it’s the first round in a simmering father-son feud that gives Lish’s title one of the meanings it accrues over the course of the novel.

Lish’s third-person narration unfolds mostly from Corey’s perspective with occasional dips into other points of view, as well as the odd nudge to hint that everything is being recounted from a regretful vantage point decades hence. Brisk, vivid scenes chart the boy’s foiled attempts to rise to his predicament, whether fending off spiralling healthcare bills with zero-hours construction gigs or lancing his anger with jiu-jitsu training (the source of some of the novel’s most compelling scenes). Pressure grows when Gloria finds she can’t type or hold a fork – signs of more painful trials to come – but another fuse is lit, too, when Corey asks himself why Leonard, obsessed with a decades-old unsolved murder, walks around with police issue handcuffs, to say nothing of a holdall full of knives.

We know right from the start where this gruelling story must go, yet in Lish’s universe even death brings no respite: any glimmer of release only ever heralds just another tightening of the screw. You can’t look away: what begins as a pulverising portrait of the financial and emotional jeopardy of terminal illness morphs, by the end, into a gothically horrific tale of predatory manipulation. That Lish keeps you nothing but rapt by his last-gasp gear change (nigh on unbearably grim, be warned), is, I suspect, just one of many signs that in years to come he’ll be spoken of as a legendary writer entirely on his own account.

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May 30, 2022

The Chocolat author was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and has shared her experiences on social media

The Chocolat author Joanne Harris has said that she thought of her cancer as a fictional “monster” while she was having treatment, so that she “could destroy him”.

The writer, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, shared her experiences with her followers on social media, dubbing her illness “Mr C”.

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May 30, 2022

Only a fraction of the world’s stories have survived. What might we be missing?

When the great library at Alexandria went up in flames, it is said that the books took six months to burn. We can’t know if this is true. Exactly how the library met its end, and whether it even existed, have been subjects of speculation for more than 2,000 years. For two millennia, we’ve been haunted by the idea that what has been passed down to us might not be representative of the vast corpus of literature and knowledge that humans have created. It’s a fear that has only been confirmed by new methods for estimating the extent of the losses.

The latest attempt was led by scholars Mike Kestemont and Folgert Karsdorp. The Ptolemies who created the library at Alexandria had a suitably pharaonic vision: to bring every book that had ever been written under one roof. Kestemont and Karsdorp had a more modest goal – to estimate the survival rate of manuscripts created in different parts of Europe during the middle ages.

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May 30, 2022

This version of a sonnet by the French symbolist poet Paul Verlaine has a down-to-earth lyricism recalling Philip Larkin’s

Last Hope
After Verlaine

Bustled about in this sputtering breeze
the graveyard’s oak seems wild and free,
as if it weren’t crowded with heavy
stones or the millpond’s dying gleam.

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May 30, 2022

A grim account of the downhill slide of atomic power since its heyday in the 1950s illustrates why it can never be the solution to global heating

Once hailed as a source of electricity that would be too cheap to meter, atomic power has come a long way since the 1950s – mostly downhill. Far from being cost-free, nuclear-generated electricity is today more expensive than power produced by coal, gas, wind or solar plants while sites storing spent uranium and irradiated equipment litter the globe, a deadly radioactive legacy that will endure for hundreds of thousands of years. For good measure, most analysts now accept that the spread of atomic energy played a crucial role in driving nuclear weapon proliferation.

Then there are the disasters. Some of the world’s worst accidents have had nuclear origins and half a dozen especially egregious examples have been selected by Harvard historian Serhii Plokhy to support his thesis that atomic power is never going to be the energy saviour of our imperilled species.

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May 30, 2022

As a child star, the actor suffered trauma and neglect. Now an acclaimed director, she is confronting the ghosts of her past with a frank new book

When Sarah Polley was four years old she entertained her Christian kindergarten class with a rendition of the Monty Python song Sit on My Face. “I love to hear you oralise / When you’re between my thighs … ” she chirruped, to the delight of her libertarian parents, who denied all responsibility when they were called to account by the school.

At the age of eight, egged on by her superfan dad, she auditioned for a new fantasy adventure movie by the Pythons’ Terry Gilliam. She was already the veteran of a handful of horror films she was too young to watch, but The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was something else: an absurdist riot of special effects, the filming of which often left her sobbing in her parents’ arms after being forced to run across battlefields, with explosions all around her and nothing but a couple of cotton wool balls to protect her little ears. Gilliam has always maintained that he has kept a safe set, but the experience is one of the reasons why she is so determined not to allow her own three children to become child actors, although two are already keen, and she relented during the filming of her latest movie, because casting them as extras was the only way she could get them on set under the stringent Covid regulations.

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May 29, 2022

Three different viewpoints on the UK’s system of incarceration – by Jacob Dunne, Angela Kirwin and Andy West – examine the human cost of our investment in punishment rather than rehabilitation


In the past 30 years, prison numbers in England and Wales have doubled to almost 90,000, the biggest per head of the population in western Europe, largely as a result of successive governments claiming that longer sentences will reduce crime. That the current regime is now planning to invest a further £4bn in yet more prison places suggests that the anticipated reduction hasn’t materialised. Yet we will continue to spend roughly £40,000 a year per head on keeping people locked up when, within a year of release, about 50% of them will reoffend.

In any good prison system there has to be a balance between punishment and rehabilitation. That ours is so out-of-kilter should be another national scandal. Instead, the new expansion plans – with details to date few and far between – were clearly intended by the Conservatives as a vote-winner. Locking more and more people up, even if it doesn’t prevent crime, is another addiction Britain has caught from the US.

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May 29, 2022

In a moving series of interviews with those fleeing persecution, the authors expose the appalling conditions in Greek refugee camps

In this timely book, Helen Benedict, a British-American professor, and Eyad Awwadawnan, a Syrian writer and refugee, expose the appalling conditions of the overcrowded Greek camps where desperate people fleeing war, persecution, poverty and violence are confined and denied their legal rights under the watch of the west.

As a consequence of the 2016 deal the EU made with Turkey, Greece has become “a trap” for those detained in camps while they wait to be granted refugee status or returned to Turkey, which many consider unsafe. Since 2020, thousands have been left in limbo in a country that does not want them and cannot accommodate them.

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May 29, 2022

Children’s author says she told her elderly mother to get rid of it as she was terrified of being mistakenly shot

The children’s author, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, has said her elderly mother slept with a gun beneath her pillow.

Wilson, creator of the Tracy Beaker series, told an audience at the Hay festival in Wales that she was the daughter of a character more colourful than any she had written – and that she was terrified her mother might shoot her by accident, and persuaded her to get rid of it.

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May 29, 2022

The tech pioneer wants us to prepare for the ‘Big One’ by holding regular pandemic exercises. But how do you deal with the threat posed by fake news?

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know we are in the midst of one of the most devastating pandemics in history. Just how devastating became clear earlier this month when the World Health Organization released a report estimating the global excess death toll due to the pandemic as 15 million – nearly three times the official Covid death count. Other authorities think global excess deaths may be closer to 18 million. These are awfully big numbers, but they pale in comparison with the 1918-1919 Spanish influenza pandemic, which killed an estimated 40 million people – equivalent to about 150 million globally using current population figures.

So, miserable as Covid has been, it is not the “Big One”. According to Bill Gates, that spectre awaits us in the not too distant future, which is why we’d be advised to start preparing now. “It will be tempting to assume that the next major pathogen will be as transmissible and lethal as Covid, and as susceptible to innovations like mRNA vaccines. But what if it isn’t?” he writes in his new book.

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