Monthly Archives: August 2016

Hype & hope

There was a standing ovation for Kamasi Washington at his late-night Prom. I wish I could have felt like joining in. From my review in today’s Times: The good news about the advent of Kamasi Washington is that here is … Continue reading

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One of the difficulties that confronts the novelist is how to describe the appearance of his characters. The most natural way is of course the formal catalogue, the height, the complexion, the shape of the face, the size of the … Continue reading

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Looking for converts at the Notting Hill Carnival.

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The Back Lot was a noisy, gaudy example of what most people seem to imagine all Hollywood is after dark. But except for an occasional celebrated face, it might have been any night spot in any American city. It was … Continue reading

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France & the burkini

“The creation of the burkini is, in fact, an advance for pious Muslim women.” Arun With A View provides a useful overview on secularism vs swimsuit.

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Revelry ahead

Getting ready for the Notting Hill Carnival. Outside a pub in Ladbroke Grove this afternoon. PS: Cycling around this afternoon, I was struck by how many businesses were being boarded up. (Is it really as many as nine out of … Continue reading

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Even within Harlem and away from white bigotry, Leslie faced marked prejudice against West Indians among American blacks. They were seen as tireless hustlers after everyone else’s jobs; as would-be entrepreneurs up to every sort of trick. Moreover, because they … Continue reading

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Final lap of the Olympics

He appeared at the opening ceremony in Rio, so I’m assuming he won’t be in tonight’s closing show too. But who needs an excuse to play some Gilberto Gil?  This is my favourite version of “Expresso 2222”, performed live with … Continue reading

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The man who stopped remembering

In today’s Times, my review of “Patient H.M”,  Luke Dittrich’s book about the strange life of Henry Molaison: He remains a ghost in the end. The only photograph of the adult Henry Molaison to appear in this ambitious, impassioned but frustrating book … Continue reading

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Now that’s what you call a publishing triple-whammy: Hitler, golf and the Olympics, all in one book.

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