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What the Dickens! It’s Christmas Tradition

Xanthe McCracken | Content Writer A white Christmas, carollers at the door, and ghost stories around the fire are just a few of the images that spring to mind when we think of a picture-perfect Christmas, but what influence did Charles Dickens have on these popular traditions?  Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812 to John and Elizabeth Dickens, being the second of eight children. … Continue reading What the Dickens! It’s Christmas Tradition

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Love Is a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time

Chloe Boulton | Content Writer In his debut novel, Love Is a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, Rob Sheffield eulogises his late wife, Renée Crist. Sheffield, a rock and pop culture guru and Rolling Stone contributing editor, tells the story of his musical coming of age, and how music brought he and Renée together. This memoir follows Sheffield through his adolescence, … Continue reading Love Is a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time

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Review: Clive James – ‘Cultural Amnesia’

Liam Elvish | Content Writer When a book serves as an educational resource as well as a source of enjoyment, the reader can only wish for more. Clive James’s 2007 miscellany Cultural Amnesia – Notes in the Margins of my Time does not just fit the theatrical bill, so to speak – it covers the entire programme. So, what exactly is ‘enjoyable’ about a volume … Continue reading Review: Clive James – ‘Cultural Amnesia’

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The Strange Weather in Tokyo

Michelle Kennedy | Content Writer Hiromi Kawakami wrote The Strange Weather in Tokyo  in 2001. This beautifully written, understated love story is set in Japan, and tells the story of two individuals falling slowly, but unquestionably, in love. Alongside this progression, the narrator details rich Japanese traditions according to the season, from mushroom picking to drinking sake in a bar late at night. There is … Continue reading The Strange Weather in Tokyo

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Cat Person and Other Stories

Emily Black | Content Writer *** Content Warning: Self harm, unhealthy relationships *** Viral internet sensations tend to come in the form of controversial tweets or amusing videos, not literature. Yet Kristen Roupenian’s short story, Cat Person, went viral after its 2017 publication in The New Yorker. As a result of this fragmented reception, the story received attention due to a form of mistaken identity. … Continue reading Cat Person and Other Stories

‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton

By Georgia Bisbas | Content Writer Alderton’s 2018 memoir was met with critical acclaim, it was a Sunday Times Best Seller and won a National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year, not to mention the unilateral praise from her adoring fan base of millennial women who relate to and admire her writing. I am one such card-carrying member, and let me tell you, we … Continue reading ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton

‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt

Chloe Boulton | Content Writer In September 1992, Alfred A. Knopf published the debut novel of a then 28-year-old Donna Tartt, called The Secret History. The novel is set in a small college in Vermont, inspired quite heavily by Tartt’s own alma mater: the exclusive Bennington College. The Secret History is about a group of Classics students, and the events that occur when the group’s … Continue reading ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt

‘Intimations’ by Zadie Smith

Georgia Bisbas | Student Writer Smith’s latest collection of essays, Intimations is exactly what it says on the tin. Simultaneously prophetic and immediate, each essay hints towards the unified dilemmas and aversions of lockdown, all while interrogating cultural issues in the wider world through her signature intelligent tone. I read these essays on a grey afternoon, much like the grey afternoons of lockdown, but I … Continue reading ‘Intimations’ by Zadie Smith

Our Bodies Their Battlefield, Christina Lamb

Georgia Bisbas | Student Writer Content Warning: Sexual Assault Veteran correspondent Christina Lamb’s unflinching report of the suffering women have experienced in war is utterly staggering. Trauma, fear, and the risk of ostracism often prevent the majority of women from sharing their stories, but on this occasion, Lamb has given them a voice. Some are insistent they be named and remembered for their suffering, including … Continue reading Our Bodies Their Battlefield, Christina Lamb

Crisis on the Southbank

Tessa Pinto | Arts Editor Employees of the Southbank Centre, the largest arts organisation in Europe, have published a scathing open letter following the decision taken by management to enforce around 400 redundancies, which was announced at the end of July. The move will result in roughly two thirds of employees losing their jobs, with the youngest, lowest paid and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority … Continue reading Crisis on the Southbank