One of the first lessons is that giving is better than receiving. Best of all though is giving the present that you also covet greenly. So here goe(...)

Alexander Pushkin: among his many literary talents was a flair for characterisation. Photograph: Universal/Getty

Pyotr Grinyov, a Russian nobleman, recalls a fraught interlude in his youth which was to become the defining moment of his life. His approach is witty(...)

Wonderful: from Maia and What Matters, published by Book Island

It is the best job ever - and I should know I’ve worked in Santa’s workshop making toys and have often been chief taster in the North Pole candy facto(...)


A seductive menace has always shaped Deborah Levy’s elegant, intelligent and devastatingly realistic vision. Her reworking of her long poem, An Amorou(...)

Georges Perec’s debut is virtuosic in execution and is not merely a curiosity for scholars. Photograph: Louis Monier/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

And so another “lost” first book, rejected by publishers and left in a suitcase, appears. But this time it is different. Georges Perec’s debut is virt(...)

Self-portrait by Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomin characters. © Moomin Characters™

Celebrations are taking place today across Finland, the beautiful Nordic country of lakes and islands as the 97th anniversary of the day Finns declare(...)

The Zone of Interest, by Martin Amis (Cape): Still the bravest of contemporary British writers, Amis for once suppresses his linguistic panache and attempts to make sense of the impossible by means of an unlikely love story set in a Nazi concentration camp

Fiction 1 Iza’s Ballad, by Magda Szabo, translated by George Szirtes (Harvill Secker) Ettie’s world dies with her beloved hapless husband, leav(...)

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy, in the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby. As a parable of innocence corrupted, written by the doomed F Scott Fitzgerald at his most inspired, iit s difficult to surpass. Photograph: AP

Pilgrims, Puritans and vast numbers of helpless turkeys will be remembered today across the United States as Thanksgiving is celebrated. Traditiona(...)

The Pontine Marshes, south of Rome, have long preoccupied Italians. Before his murder Emperor Nero had contemplated the clearing of this diseased swam(...)

Former winner Colum McCann has had his book Transatlantic submitted for consideration. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The 20th International Impac Dublin Literary Award longlist announced on Monday includes two former winners. The award that has achieved so much in al(...)