Patricia Storace is the author of Heredity, a volume of poems, Dinner with Persephone, a travel memoir about Greece, and Sugar Cane, a children’s book. Her most recent book is the novel A Book of Heaven. (July 2016)
an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, London, December 13, 2014–September 6, 2015, and the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2016–January 22, 2017
Changing scale is one of the fundamental physical dramas of childhood, an experience of constantly being uncontrollably altered, whose translation into imagination—and knowledge—naturally preoccupies many classics of children’s literature. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice is both miniaturized and magnified. Her abrupt and helpless metamorphoses in both directions are comic, ridiculous, …
by William Shakespeare, directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, Garrick Theatre, London, October 17, 2015–January 16, 2016
Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time, the inaugural volume of what Hogarth Press is calling, borrowing the language of recording studios, “cover versions” of Shakespeare’s plays, is a retelling of the late romance The Winter’s Tale, first performed at the Globe and then before King James I at court in …
Dr. Johnson famously suggested that a man not preoccupied with the excellence of his dinner “should be suspected of inaccuracy in other things.” If he had made that remark today, it would probably be published with a mosaic of reminiscences and images of suppers he’d had at his pub, the Cheshire Cheese, and a link to the food vocabulary in his online dictionary.
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
by Marina Warner
One Thousand and One Nights
a retelling by Hanan al-Shaykh, with a foreword by Mary Gaitskill
On June 24, 1911, the fashion designer Paul Poiret held a much-anticipated costume party in Paris, which he promised would “be the Thousand and Second Night.” The guests, who had received invitations designed by Raoul Dufy, were led past a huge golden cage, in which Madame Poiret was imprisoned, along …
by David Grossman, translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
There is a striking difference in register between the titles of the Hebrew and the English versions of David Grossman’s lengthy, ambitious novel. The portentous literary title in English, “To the End of the Land,” stakes an epic claim; it has the grandiloquence that reminds one of titles like Gone with the Wind or From Here to Eternity. By contrast, the simplicity of its Hebrew title—“A Woman Running from the News”—announces another novel altogether, a realist novel of contemporary life, the story of a particular person at a particular moment.
The world was created with a knife and a prayer. The knife you can see well, especially in the late summer nights. Look up after dark; you will see its green jade hilt, the sickle of brilliants that forms the curve of the scimitar’s blade, and the field of red …