Ruth Scurr is the author of Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution and, most recently, John Aubrey: My Own Life. (March 2017)


The Dreams and the Demons of Fasting

Edvard Munch: The Girl by the Window, 1893

The Wonder

by Emma Donoghue
“I have tried to use memory and invention together, like two hands engaged in the same muddy work of digging up the past,” explains the Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue in the foreword to a collection of her short stories, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits (2002). She quotes approvingly …

Homo Erectus


by Jim Crace
Human life is framed by two great mysteries. In Being Dead (1999), the British novelist Jim Crace gives a wholly secular answer to the question “What happens when we die?” Tightly organized, the novel centers on the elaborate conceit of a middle-aged married couple, brutally murdered on a beach, and …