I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Giles Newington

Shit Buzz in Belgrade

Kevin Power’s new novel is both riotous rant and thoughtful coming-of-age tale. The punchy lyricism enables sympathy as well as laughter

Up and doing

The novelist John Buchan was both patriotic Scot and unionist Briton. And while his work often reveals an unpleasant racism, this sunny-tempered dynamo was still able, as someone from the political periphery, to respect cultural difference and aspirations to independence.

Rotters in Brexitland

Jonathan Coe’s strengths as a writer – his humour, his clarity, and particularly the deft way he can sketch in the political background – make him well-equipped to sustain a state-of-the-nation novel that is credible and wide-ranging yet avoids being dragged down by the weightiness of its theme.

Exit from Metroland

The plain-speaking, undeceived tone of Julian Barnes’s narrators, together with his suburban settings, can make him seem a quintessentially English writer. Normally, however, the gradually revealed unreliability of these narrators serves to subvert the assumptions of the middle class world.

Joe’s Golden Years

Salman Rushdie’s new novel is set in an America switching from Obama to Trump. While it may not be entirely clear what he is telling us about the ‘post-truth’ world, Rushdie’s primary gift as a storyteller seems to have survived in a story full of verve and invention.

Magical Migrations

Short but packed with ideas, Mohsin Hamid’s fourth novel shares with his previous work a compelling engagement with the present political moment. In its unambiguous faith in pluralism and tolerance, it is also a surprisingly optimistic message from a possible future.