From Baba Yaga to Hermione Granger: why we’re spellbound by ‘witcherature’

Vengeful, seductive, feminist, misogynist … witches have appeared in many forms in literature. Now a new generation of novelists are falling under their spell A witch is a woman who has too much power. Or, to quote the novelist #MeToo world, where Donald Trump a fan of the term witch-hunt is US president, it is really no surprise that female writers are examining the role of the witch in new ways. Since Trumps election, which inspired mass spell-casting by thousands …

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour review escape from dystopia

Twitter, texts, email the psychological needs driving todays vast and risky digital writing experiment The notoriety of postmodernism has waxed and waned over the past 40 years. While a frequent reference point in the identity politics and the chaos of Steven Pinker and a cluster of neoconservatives associated with the online magazine Quillette, the postmodern left has injected relativism and self-pity into liberal democracies, with all of the results we see around us today. Few appear to have any clue …

What will Palestine be like in 2048? Writers turn to sci-fi for the answer

A new anthology collects 12 authors visions of life in the region in 2048 providing a liberating change for some Twelve acclaimed Palestinian writers have imagined what their country might look like in 2048, 100 years after Palestine + 100 range from Majd Kayyals depiction of a futuristic solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in which two parallel worlds occupy the same geographic space, to Saleem Haddads Matrix-like concept of a right to digital return. Man Booker International prize nominee Mazen …

Dressed to kill: why were obsessed with the clothes on TV

Whether its Killing Eves stylish assassin or the pals in Friends, its TV, not models, that is inspiring our wardrobes and with good reason It feels safe to say that at this moment, more people around the world are lusting after the style of a serial killer than ever before. Thats globalisation for you, but thats also the grip that our favourite TV characters have on our wardrobes. Anyone who has been watching the second series of Killing Eve cannot …

Naval gazing: the submarine’s fathomless rise to screen stardom

With Kursk the latest deepwater disaster to hit the big screen, we plunge into a history of claustrophobia, creaking hulls and deadly phallic warheads Hot on the heels of Thomas Vinterberg), adapted by an American (Robert Rodat, who wrote Saving Private Ryan) from Robert Moores book Toni Erdmanns Peter Simonischek) and British (Colin Firth as a Royal Navy CO who looks on in dismay as his offers of help are rejected), as well as assorted Russians, Germans and Scandinavians. Among …

Division 19 review emo rebels run riot in a derivative dystopia

Fun turns from Clarke Peters and Alison Doody enliven this yawn-inducing vision of a futuristic surveillance state Set 20 or so years in the future, this low-budget, colour-drained sci-fi thriller is a curates egg one thats been overboiled and well past its sell-by date. It was finished back in 2017 and is only now dripping into cinemas, where its sure to last mere minutes before being swept up into some streaming platforms slipstream. Nothing ages as poorly as a dystopia. …

Author Lisa Taddeo: I wanted to explore desire, not sex

In her extraordinary book Three Women Lisa Taddeo charts the intimate lives of real American women. Below, we print an extract In 2010, a young American writer called Lisa Taddeo published Gay Taleses notorious 1981 exploration of sex culture in 1970s America (Talese, a pioneer of new journalism, ran a massage parlour as part of his research; during the writing of the book, he stayed at a clothing-optional resort). Taddeo, conscientious but curious too, went to see Talese, by then …