An Acute Adolescence: Review of playtime, by Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan's debut poetry collection, physical, was warmly received for its tender portrayal of modern masculinity. His second book, playtime, continues these themes but pushes them into a fraught adult context. Cheryl Julia Lee reviews ahead of Andrew McMillan's appearance at Durham Book Festival on 14th October. Given the bracing intimacy of Andrew McMillan’s writing, it is... Continue Reading →

Taking off the Stabilisers: Review of Robert Webb at Durham Book Festival

The comedian Robert Webb has received great acclaim for his book How Not to Be a Boy, which tackles important questions about gender and male identity in the twenty-first century. Martin Gleghorn welcomes his refreshingly comic but poignant approach at Durham Book Festival.  Taking to the stage appropriately enough on World Mental Health Day, Robert Webb’s... Continue Reading →

What Brief Interviews with Hideous Men can tell us about rape culture

A serial womaniser. A commitment-phobic boyfriend. A wife beater. David Foster Wallace's 1999 book Brief Interviews with Hideous Men presents a provocative view of male misogyny and its effects on women. In this brief interview with READ, which expands upon his recent Postgraduate English article, Matthew Alexander suggests that Wallace's work is an important text for our times, especially... Continue Reading →

Music, Narrative, and Identity in Literature

How useful is it to think of music in terms of narrative? And how does music allow writers to represent issues of identity? In light of his recently organised conference Music and Literature: Critical Polyphonies, READ interviewed Fraser Riddell on the relationship between music and literature, specifically its influence on queer identity and sexuality in fin-de-siècle literature. What... Continue Reading →

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