Sunday, June 30, 2019

Eyes wide shut / What the Critics Failed to See in Kuibrick`s Last Film

  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999) During the party, an older Hungarian man (Sky du Mont) tries to seduce Alice (Nicole Kidman)


    by Lee Siegel 

    [Harper’s Magazine]

    Eyes Wide Shut is one of the most moving, playful, and complex movies I have ever seen.  I love the way Stanley Kubrick expresses the film’s theme of social and psychological doubleness through a double entendre in the film’s very title—Eyes Wide Shut—and through his choice, for the title song, of a waltz by Dmitry Shostakovich, a guileful composer famous for writing music whose subtle motifs seemed to celebrate Stalin but actually undermined him. I love the film’s spare, almost allegorical portrait of the tension and complexity at the heart of a marriage. So imagine my alarm when, picking up one magazine and newspaper after another, I read reviews calling Kubrick’s film a disaster and a titanic error, trite and self-important, one of the worst movies the critics had ever seen.

    Eyes Wide Shut / All Eyes on Them

    • Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Tom Cruise (William Harford)


      Review by Richard Schickel

      History and horror, crime and war, sci-fi and sexual transgression. He may have made only 13 feature films in the course of his 46-year career, but Stanley Kubrick covered a range that more prolific filmmakers might—and often did—envy. But whether the films were set in the deep past or the near future, whether their prevailing tone was comic or violent, sly or brutish, weary or idealistic, Kubrick really made the same movie over and over again—vivid, brilliant, emotionally unforgiving, imagistically unforgettable variations on the theme that preoccupied him all his mature life.

      Saturday, June 29, 2019

      Elie Wiesel / The Night / Preface

      • 16 Apr 1945, Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Buchenwald, Germany --- Survivors at Buchenwald Concentration Camp remain in their barracks after liberation by Allies on April 16, 1945. Elie Wiesel is on the second bunk from the bottom, seventh from the left. --- Image by © CORBIS



      Preface to the New Translation
      by Elie Wiesel
      If in my lifetime I was to write only one book, this would be the one. Just as the past lingers in the present, all my writings after Night, including those that deal with biblical, Talmudic, or Hasidic themes, profoundly bear its stamp, and cannot be understood if one has not read this very first of my works.

      Elie Wiesel / Memories of Jerusalem

      • Elie Wiesel


        by Elie Wiesel
        When did I see Jerusalem for the first time? I don’t even know. When I visited the city for the first time, it seemed to me that it was not for the first time. At the same time, each visit since then I have had the feeling it is my first visit.
        Is there a Jew, a Jewish child, who possessesa different relationship toward the most Jewish city in the world? Rabbi Yehuda Halevi’s nostalgic poem celebrates us all: though we find ourselves here and there in the Western world, the Jewish heart is always in the East.

        Alain Elkann interviews Eli Wiesel


        Elie Wiesel

        by Alain Elkann

        The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity fights for human rights and peace and is anti-racism. It organizes lectures, conferences and annual meetings with other Nobel Prize awardees like Wiesel.
        Wiesel arrives in his office followed by a bodyguard. There are several young people working in his Foundation, which he runs with his wife Marion. He is wearing his Grand Croix de la Légion d’Honneur decoration on the lapel of his navy blue corduroy jacket. Very few people around the world have reached this notably high distinction.

        Friday, June 28, 2019

        What a waist / Why the corset has made a regrettable return

        What a waist: why the corset has made a regrettable return

        On the red carpet, on Instagram, even in Mothercare – corsets are everywhere. What is behind the disturbing trend for ‘waist training’?
        Thu 27 June 2019

        Breathe in … a woman wearing a corset. Photograph: Marc Bruxelle
        hat could be more enjoyable after giving birth than slipping into some high heels and squeezing your postpartum body into a corset? Last week, Mothercare was accused of pandering to the pressure on new mothers to lose their pregnancy weight and remain “sexy” by selling a corset, modelled by a woman wearing patent leather platform stilettos. “I’m very anxious for women who are getting the wrong message,” Jacqui Tomkins, the chair of Independent Midwives UK, told the Times. “It’s saying the most important thing is for you to be back in shape, looking like Kim Kardashian. That worries me.” The company has since removed the product and image, but is still selling a lace-print band, described as a “tummy tucker”, to be worn around the stomach, which it claims “helps with slimming down”.Despite this furore, the corset has been creeping back into fashion for some time. In 2016, Prada revived the garment in a more utilitarian style, worn loosely laced over thick tailoring and sweaters. This style, while still designed to bring attention to a trim waist, was not rooted in old ideas of “sexiness”. But for autumn/winter 2019, fashion designers showed a more traditional style, with a return to full corsets and wide, waist-cinching belts.

        Thursday, June 27, 2019

        Griselda Gambaro / The Lady with the Lapdog

        Atefe Maleki Joo

        The Lady with the Lapdog

        Written by Griselda Gambaro
        Translated by Marguerite Feitlowitz
        Illustrated by Atefe Maleki Joo

        He’d met her in the square. Years ago when he retired he’d decided always to occupy to the same bench, opposite one tree whose name he didn’t know but which had a green crown he liked to look at, and under another whose leaves were sparse in winter and let in the sun.
        The first time she sat down beside him, on his bench, he’d felt nothing more than condescending annoyance. Though occasionally someone else sat down there, some old guy looking for another old guy like himself, he always got his bench back right away. He’d snort, spit, make broad hints or else sink into aggressive silence, and the intruder would end up leaving. It was an inhospitable square, very open to the wind, and there were empty benches left. They can use those, he’d say to himself. He was no cow out to pasture with the herd, but a man committed to his solitude.

        Wednesday, June 26, 2019

        Eyes Wide Shut / Stanley Kubrick’s Final Masterpiece

        Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick’s Final Masterpiece
        Eyes Wide Shut is one of Stanley Kubrick’s last great masterpiece, and personally one of my favorite Kubrick films. Many critics and Kubrick fans considered it one of his lesser works when it was released. But as the years have gone by Eyes Wide Shut has aged extremely well. Even legendary director Martin Scorsese considers the film not only one of Kubrick’s best but on of the best films of the 90’s.
        The film is an erotic drama film released in 1999 deriving its roots from a 1926 novella – Traumnovelle (Dream Story) written by Arthur Schnitzler. It was the last film to be directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick as the famous producer died four days after he showed his final cut of the movie to Warner Bros Pictures and four months before the eventual release of the film.

        Kubrick’s record-breaking production schedule for Eyes Wide Shut (400 production days) garnered the Guinness World Records award for the longest continuous film shoot in history. It earned over $30 million during its first week of release, and that made it take the box office’s number one spot. Eyes Wide Shut won the Best DVD Collection for Warner Bros at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, Saturn Award in 2012.

        Why does Nicole Kidman undress in the opening shot of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’?

        Why does Nicole Kidman undress in the opening shot of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’?

        Stanley Kubrick’s last project Eyes Wide Shut (1999), which features Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise as a well-to-do Manhattan couple whose marriage is in trouble, is a cult work. It had a mixed critical reception on its first release, but since then its reputation as one of the director’s finest works has grown. The film is controversial for many reasons — as much to do with its production and reception as for its supposedly sensational sexual content, heavily hyped by Warner Bros. Like so many Kubrick films, Eyes Wide Shut confounds expectations and tests viewers to the limit. The director was a perfectionist and his attention to detail is legendary; one of the fascinations of his work is the pleasure of unpicking every nuance of image and sound in search of a definitive meaning — a quest destined to be frustrated. This is cinema for obsessive compulsives.

        Eyes Wide Shut / Opening scene

        Eyes Wide Shut

        by Stanley Kubrick 


        Opening scene (with Nicole Kidman & Tom Cruise)

        Eyes Wide Shut is a 1999 erotic drama film directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick.

        Tuesday, June 25, 2019

        Stanley Kubrick / Eyes Without a Face


        by Charles Whitehouse
        The dream interpreter is a kind of detective, and given the orgy of opinion about Eyes Wide Shut currently being enjoyed, let’s use the detective’s dictum and stick to the facts. The most shocking aspect of Eyes Wide Shut is not its long-anticipated sex scenes, but its fidelity to literature. No one expected such a faithful plot adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Novel(Schnitzler was a friend of Freud’s)

        Diane Arbus / Identical Twins

        • Diane Arbus - Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967

          DIANE ARBUS 


          ROSELLE, NEW JERSEY, 1967

          Identical twins, Cathleen and Colleen Wade, 7, were spotted by Arbus at a Christmas party for twins and triplets.

          Two years before she received her first camera, Diane Arbus wrote: “There are and have been and will be an infinite number of things on Earth. Individuals all different, all wanting different things, all knowing different things, all loving different things, all looking different. . . . That is what I love: the differentness.” Arbus’s appreciation for the unusual, eccentric, and extraordinary led her to photograph a range of subjects over the thirty years of her career—transvestites, giants, art philanthropists, nudists, and, as here, identical twins. No one knows how Arbus learned about a small-town Christmas party in 1967 being held for local twins and triplets, but it is in keeping with her interest in how people are who they are. Isolating these seven-year-old girls against the wall of the Knights of Columbus hall in Roselle, New Jersey, and photographing them in her typically straightforward manner, Arbus ensured close attention would be paid to the details: the matching homemade dresses (which were green but appear black), the lace stockings bunched below the knees, and the barely discernible difference in each girl’s presentation before the camera. Such details variously belie and reinforce the uncanny suggestion of two thoroughly identical individuals.

          Robin Williams / Playboy Interview



            by Larry Grobel
            In many ways, Robin Williams is just a big kid. Watch him play with eight-year-old son Zachary. Williams is positioned in front of the laptop computer, joystick in hand, as planes fly at him on the screen. He pops them off with childlike enthusiasm. “This is great!” he says, racking up kills. “Spielberg loves these, too, you know.” Williams is just back from his day on the set of Hook, in which he plays, appropriately, Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up. And what about Zachary, Williams’ son and playmate? He stands by quietly as dad downs more planes, patiently waiting his turn. In other ways, Williams has grown up quite nicely. The stand-up comedian with the quicksilver mind who became an overnight sensation in Mork & Mindy has matured into something of a rarity-a true genius in the world of stand-up comedy, as well as one of the country’s most respected dramatic actors. Many comics have had success in the movies, but few have enjoyed the esteem that Williams does (or the two Oscar nominations). Nor have many overcome the personal demons Williams faced early in stardom when drugs and alcohol threatened to destroy his career, if not his life. Now 40, married for a second time and the father of three children, Williams is at his peak. He appears in movies of substance, not mindless comedies, and he has created a family life in Northern California far from the temptations of the Hollywood fast lane. When Playboy first interviewed Williams in 1982, his career was at a crossroads. Mork & Mindy had nose-dived in the ratings and was canceled after a four-year run. His first movie, Popeye, had been a bomb, and his second, The World According to Garp, earned few rave reviews. But his stand-up comedy routines were legendary, racing from a sometimes simple premise-with mimicry, one-liners, characters and anything else he could think of-to cover an encyclopedia of subjects, leaving his audience breathless. The New York Times described them as having a “perfervid pace and wild, associative leaps,” and worried that his “improvisational method seemed tinged with madness.” Much has happened to Williams in the ten years since that first interview. After the death of acquaintance John Belushi, he stopped using drugs. His first marriage fell apart in a very public manner, and he’s still angry about the way the press covered his divorce and marriage to the woman who had been his son’s nanny; his father, a Detroit automobile industry executive, died. Despite the personal upheaval, his professional life started to jell. His stand-up routines became, in the words of The New York Times, “sharper and less frenetic.” His successful concerts, albums, video tapes and cable specials put him in the top rank of comedians. In 1986, he joined Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal to found Comic Relief, a yearly benefit for the homeless that appears on HBO. So far, it has raised more than $18,000,000. He also makes appearances in support of literacy and is an advocate of women’s rights. But it was his development as an actor that surprised many. Not all of his film roles were memorable, especially at first, but as his list of credits began to build, so did his reputation. He followed Popeye and Garp with The Survivors (which also starred Walter Matthau), Moscow on the HudsonClub Paradise and Cadillac Man. His performance in Good Morning, Vietnam earned his first chance at an Academy Award; his second came with Dead Poets Society. He followed that by co-starring in Awakenings with Robert De Niro, and with a tasty, morbid cameo as a “defrocked” psychiatrist in Dead Again. His performance in The Fisher King has received excellent reviews. And, of course, he’s headlining one of the most anticipated Christmas films-Hook, in which he co-stars with Dustin Hoffman (who plays Hook), Julia Roberts (Tinkerbell), Maggie Smith (Wendy) and Bob Hoskins (the pirate Smee). Director Terry Gilliam has worked with Williams twice, most recently in The Fisher King and earlier in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, in which Williams appeared as a giant-headed man in the moon. “The thing with Robin is, he has the ability to go from manic to mad to tender and vulnerable,” says Gilliam, who was a founding member of Monty Python. “He’s the most unique mind on the planet. There’s nobody like him out there.” To catch up with one of our national treasures, we sent Contributing Editor Lawrence Grobel (whose previous interviews include Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro) to spend three weekends with the Pan Man. Grobel’s report: “Since Robin was smack in the middle of making Hook, I was aware he was giving up precious family time to do the interview. Yet, once we started talking, I knew it couldn’t be rushed. Williams is a stream-of-consciousness talker, and ideas bounce off him like atoms in a blender. Give him a topic-any topic-and he can do five minutes. “When he was on a roll, he would often lean toward the tape recorder to make sure nothing was garbled or lost. But he can also be quiet and serious, concerned about social issues and politics. And sometimes, when his pregnant wife, Marsha, would enter the room, he would simply become very loving, almost apologizing for spending this time away from her. “Throughout our time together, Williams was open and friendly, often more concerned about my welfare than he was about his own. When my car failed to start after one of our sessions, I called my wife to come get me and Robin volunteered himself, his publicist and his gardener to push the car out of the way until a tow truck arrived. The thought of these three men struggling with a car up a steep hill-and the ensuing chiropractic bills-worried me enough that I tried to start it one more time. This time it worked. ‘It’s OK. I yelled. I’m outa here.’ “‘Wait!’ Robin yelled. ‘You better call your wife.’ “How can you not like a guy who’s willing to risk his back pushing your car and then reminds you to call your wife.”
            Robin Williams
            * * *
            PLAYBOY: This is our second time with you. How did the first interview affect you?
            WILLIAMS: To tell you the truth. I can’t remember it.

            Monday, June 24, 2019

            CNN Larry King Live / Interview with Robin Williams (2007)

              CNN Larry King Live 

              Interview with Robin Williams 


              Aired July 3, 2007
              ROBIN WILLIAMS: OK, Larry, we’ve got — we’ve got a shot of you with Colin Powell. It’s a nice shot. OK. Do we have any shots of Larry’s colon?
              WILLIAMS: Anything?
              KING: Tonight, a primetime exclusive with Robin Williams.
              (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAMS: Good morning, Vietnam!
              Robin Williams
              Robin Williams
              WILLIAMS: Because she was a stunner. Oy. But you’re still going to help me, Jack. Coveting thy neighbor’s wife. That’s why god invented the cold shower. Show me company!
              (END VIDEO CLIP)
              KING: His remarkable career, the close friendship with the late Chris Reeve, his return to rehab after 20 years of sobriety. We’ll cover it all with the one and only Robin Williams. And then another exclusive with another Robin — Robin Quivers. How has she lasted 26 years as Howard Stern’s on air sidekick — longer than any woman in Howard’s life, except maybe his mother? And how she dropped 21 pounds in 21 days. Robin Williams, Robin Quivers, an exclusive hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.

              Robin Williams last appearance on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

                robin williams toys
                Robin Williams

              Robin Williams last appearance on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 

              [21th May 1992] 


              April 22nd, 2019

              Robin Williams appears on the last regular Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. This was the penultimate final Tonight Show with Carson, and the final show with guests.
              Robin was a once in a lifetime talent. This genius walks into a space and completely takes control with the most brilliant ad lib unscripted material ever. He totally commands the space with his genius.

              Robin Williams

              CARSON: Okay. Okay, we’re back. You know, in this business, there are comedians,there are comics, and once in a while – rarely – somebody rises above and supersedes that and becomes a comic persona unto themselves. I never cease to be amazed at the versatility and the wonderful work that Robin Williams does. Would you welcome him please? Robin Williams.
              WILLIAMS: I brought you a little something.

              Sunday, June 23, 2019

              Georges Simenon / Writing

              Georges Simenon
              by Pablo García

              by Georges Simenon

              Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy.“ 

              Georges Simenon Interviewed in Paris Review, Summer 1955; reprinted in Malcolm Cowley (ed.) Writers at Work (New York: Viking Press, 1959) p. 146.

              The fact that we are I don't know how many millions of people, yet communication, complete communication, is completely impossible between two of those people, is to me one of the biggest tragic themes in the world. 

              Georges Simenon Interviewed in Paris Review, Summer 1955; reprinted in Malcolm Cowley (ed.) Writers at Work (New York: Viking Press, 1959) p. 153.

              We are all potentially characters in a novel - with the difference that characters in a novel really get to live their lives to the full.

              It just happened. As though a moment comes when it's both necessary and natural to make a decision that has long since been made.

              The place smelled of fairgrounds, of lazy crowds, of nights when you stayed out because you couldn't go to bed, and it smelled like New York, of its calm and brutal indifference.

              I never read contemporary fiction – with one exception: the works of Simenon concerned with Inspector Maigret.

              Saturday, June 22, 2019

              Children's Books / The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde / Review

              CHILDREN'S BOOKS

              The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - review

              Although the mannered society of the late 1800s may seem far removed from that of today, I was struck by the similarities'

              he saying "be careful what you wish for" has arguably never been more apt in literature than it is in this classic novel. When the young Victorian heartthrob Dorian Gray is influenced by Lord Henry Wotton's warning that he only has "a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully" due to the transiency of his youthful beauty, he wishes for his portrait to change with time instead.

              Little does he know that he will soon stumble down the rocky road of moral corruption, committing one bad deed after another, destroying relationships with the people he meets at the same time as any good reputation he used to possess.
              Although the mannered society of the late 1800s may seem far removed from that of today, I was struck by the similarities. For example, the obsession with self-image which leads to Dorian's wish in the first place can easily be associated with 2014 and how teenagers of today measure their attractiveness in the number of Facebook 'likes' on profile pictures. Just as Dorian wants to increase his social rank by going to the most fashionable dinner parties and plays with the highest class people, the popularity of people today is often reflected in the number of 'cool' parties they are invited to. The way Dorian's social aspirations lead to his downfall therefore makes the novel an interesting moral commentary. Rather than pursuing, as Dorian does, pleasure for its own sake with no regard for any people he may harm – such as his first love, the actress Sybil Vane – Wilde presents in Dorian's exploits an example of a man whose hedonistic principles should not be followed.

              Having always been interested in the power of words to influence people - as Wilde himself observes: "Was there anything so real as words?" - the way Dorian follows such an immoral route after being handed a book by Lord Wotton to attempt to raise his spirits after a sad incident, is particularly striking. This is helped by Wilde's relatively straightforward language, making it all the more readable. However, I would not particularly recommend it for anyone under 13 as the themes and comments on the values of individuals and society may not appeal as much to a younger audience.

              THE GUARDIAN

              Children's books / The best new picture book and novels

              The perfect antidote to real-world worry … Mouse & Mole by Joyce Dunbar.

              The best new picture books and novels

              Imogen Russell Williams
              Saturday 22 June 2019

              There’s a star-gazing theme to picture books this month. Look Up!(Puffin) by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola features science-crazed, irrepressible chatterbox Rocket, who is determined to get her whole town out watching a meteor shower – to the annoyance of her big brother, who would rather stay glued to his phone. Energetic and with a wry, sweet take on family dynamics, it will alert readers to the thrilling mysteries of the night skies.
              Astro Girl (Otter-Barry) by Ken Wilson-Max stars Astrid, another little girl intent on discovering the secrets of space, who enjoys acting out the challenges of zero gravity with Papa while Mama is away. When Astrid welcomes her back, the twist in the tale reveals that Mama might be an expert on space herself. A delightful combination of imaginative play and inspiring role model from a much-loved author-illustrator.

              A sweet take on family dynamics … Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola.
               A sweet take on family dynamics … Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. Photograph: Puffin

              Fifty years after the moon landing, young readers of five-plus can make their own lunar voyages with The Usborne Book of the Moon by Laura Cowan and illustrator Diana Toledano, a compendious, thoroughly readable volume that contains not only plenty of facts about the moon’s orbit and phases, but also the legends and stories told about it worldwide. Engagingly illustrated, with well judged, engaging text, this is the best and broadest kind of non-fiction.
              Back on Earth, Joyce Dunbar’s beloved duo Mouse & Mole, richly illustrated by James Mayhew, have recently reappeared, reissued by Graffeg. This cosy pair enjoy the gentlest of Kenneth Grahame-style adventures, making plans for picnics, overindulging in roast chestnuts and toasted muffins, and trying and failing to get rid of excessive clutter; the perfect antidote to real-world worry.
              Meanwhile, in The Suitcase (Nosy Crow) by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, a strange animal appears, dragging a suitcase he says contains a teacup, a table and the cabin where he used to make tea. When he falls asleep, exhausted by his journey, the other animals break open the case – only to discover a broken teacup and an old photograph. As the stranger wakes to find the others have built him a new cabin, a sense of new joy and hope arises; the story has a feel of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, but for a preschool audience.

              For seven-plus readers with a yen for more modern-feeling escapism, Louie Stowell’s The Dragon in the Library (Nosy Crow) stars the book-fearing Kit, dragged to the library by her friends only to discover that she is a wizard, with a vital role to play in protecting the great dragon who sleeps within. Cracking pace, comic one-liners and a gleefully evil villain, brought to life by Davide Ortu’s illustrations, add up to a debut with broad appeal.

              The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros.
               The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Photograph: Nosy Crow

              For eight and up, more winged wyrms appear in The Secret Dragon by Ed Clarke (Puffin), appropriately set in Wales. Scientifically minded Mari is fossil-hunting on the beach when she discovers a tiny, curled-up creature; soon she’s facing the challenges of rearing a mischievous baby dragon while trying to study it and keep it out of trouble. Mari’s charged relationships with her mother and new friend Dylan, and her determination to get famous Dr Griff to verify her discovery so she can give the dragon her lost father’s name, give extra depth to this heart-warming story.

              Finally, from the superb Katherine Rundellcomes The Good Thieves(Bloomsbury), a heist story set in 1920s New York. This is as compelling as an Enid Blyton circus caper – if Blyton had written with inclusive compassion and the sort of limpid, elegant prose it’s a pleasure to sink into. Indomitable Vita Marlowe, whom polio has left with a weakened leg, is determined to break into the home her grandfather lost to swindlers and steal back his treasure. But the heist will need the help of circus boys Arkady and Sam, with their acrobatic skill and gift for charming animals, not to mention Silk, the pickpocket – and Vita’s own redoubtable marksmanship. Purring mafiosi, breathtaking feats of nerve and a crackling sense of atmosphere throughout make this book a single-sitting treat, showcasing Rundell at the peak of her powers.
              Back in the present day, Lisa Thompson’s Owen and the Soldier (Barrington Stoke) is brief, super-readable, and poignant. Owen’s dad isn’t around any more, and his mum is increasingly struggling to cope; he shares his feelings only with the crumbling stone soldier in the memorial garden, until the council announces plans to redevelop. Can Owen save the soldier? This slim, focused story packs considerable punch.

              Teenagers roundup

              Catching Teller Crow

              by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Penguin, £7.99
              In this Australian prizewinner focusing on two Indigenous teenagers, 15-year-old Beth Teller has died in a car crash, but her spirit remains visible to her grief-stricken police detective father. When Dad is called to investigate a murder, Beth meets Isobel Catching, a young witness, who can see her too. Catching’s strange story reveals the painful, long-buried secrets at the heart of the case, and shows Beth that she can’t stay stranded in the living world for ever trying to tend her father’s broken heart. Combining taut, intricate thriller with ancient Indigenous tales and the darker side of Australian history, this is a deeply poignant and original novel.

              Perfectly Preventable Deaths cover

              Perfectly Preventable Deaths

              by Deirdre Sullivan, Hot Key, £7.99
              When twin sisters Madeline and Catlin move to their new stepfather’s castle in the fictional Irish hamlet of Ballyfrann, the remoteness appeals to them at first. Everyone is apparently related, their stepfather’s cousin seems to be a witch and, of course, there are the stories of the girls who have gone missing there, year after year. Madeline and Catlin think they will be safe, though; they look out for each other. Salty hilarity and an assured evocation of siblings’ prickly closeness give way to unnerving folk-horror menace and gore in Sullivan’s latest lush, weird and lyrical book.

              I Will Not Be Erased

              ‘I Will Not Be Erased’ – Our Stories About Growing Up As People of Colour

              by gal-dem, Walker, £7.99

              From gal-dem, an award-winning magazine created by women and non-binary people of colour, come essays and stories in which contributors write to their teenage selves as kindly, validating mentors. From Niellah Arboine’s “‘You Speak Well for a Black Girl’: Black Is Who You Are” to Sara Jafari’s emphasis on choice and autonomy when dating as a British Muslim, the pieces are warm, personal and sometimes traumatic. The authors assert their right to their own history, feelings and experience, and their refusal to be ignored.