The One Other Book
books / travel

The One Other Book

I’m packed, booked, splattered with visas and ready to go. The Chinese Visa Application Centre near Bank is an absolute traveller’s dream – sparkling new, terribly efficient and well-organised. I picked up my passport with its Chinese visa yesterday and walked down Cheapside grinning like an idiot – in fact I had to stop myself … Continue reading

books

The Letters of Joseph Roth

I’ve been rather preoccupied for the last month with work, bouts of wintery ill health, Christmas and various¬†other things that interfere with reading. In fact, I shouldn’t be doing this right now, but I wanted to draw attention to this excerpt from the newly translated letters of Joseph Roth. Michael Hamburger has taken a break … Continue reading

books

Beware of Pity

Oh, Radio 4, you are spoiling us too much. Already this autumn, as I may have mentioned before, we’ve had the epic adaptation of Grossman’s Life and Fate; now we have an adaptation of another top favourite book of mine, Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity. This adaptation has had a strange history. Let me quote … Continue reading

books

Solzhenitsyn’s Posthumous Output

Admirably, Solzhenitsyn’s death in 2008 has not stopped him from publishing more books over the last few years. In October 2009 we had the new and radically altered edition of In the First Circle (previously published as The First Circle) and now this autumn Apricot Jam and Other Stories, a collection of nine short stories, … Continue reading

books

Life and Fate (iii)

During the first event at the BBC Radio 4 Life and Fate extravaganza in Oxford, concerning the adaptation of the book for the radio drama, a member of the audience asked the writers how they handled the character of Ikonnikov. The writers looked a little blank and had trouble summoning up precisely who Ikonnikov was … Continue reading