The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy review – aching, poignant and pressing debut

The novel’s protagonist is Franny, a restless and willful Irish-Australian woman with a deep affinity for birds, who is determined to track and follow the last remaining Arctic terns on what may well be their final annual migration, from their nesting grounds in Greenland to Antarctica. This journey is the longest migration undertaken by any […]

The Book in the Cathedral by Christopher de Hamel review – adventures of a manuscript sleuth

The cult that sprang up around Becket after his death spread widely and swiftly. Within three years he was Saint Thomas, and Canterbury would become one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Europe. When the Reformation came, however, Becket fell out of favour, his relics – bones, clothes, a soiled handkerchief – destroyed as […]

Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher de Hamel – review

There is one each in Cambridge, Dublin, Florence, Leiden, New York, Oxford, Copenhagen, Munich, Paris, Aberystwyth, St Petersburg and Los Angeles, and De Hamel describes for us in detail the experience of visiting and examining them. Each city is evoked in a vivid sort of travel writing, full of pith. De Hamel’s Manhattan, for instance, […]

The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan – review

Meehan’s text is helpful, however, in preventing the reader from feeling that the pages were created merely for their own sake. The pages were decorated, he makes clear, for serious religious reasons. “Though the decoration of The Book of Kells,” he writes, “is dense and, in places, bewildering, its themes, expressed in a variety of […]

Review: Poetry of Belonging: Muslim Imaginings of India 1850-1950 by Ali Khan Mahmudabad

The Hindi-Urdu language debate was intensified, assigning “citizenship” to languages, and amplifying differences between the two communities, till Urdu became a “Muslim language”, and the borrowing of metaphors from each other’s cultures became unnatural. In this context, the writer mentions legendary 17th century Punjabi poet Waris Shah who used “des, desh, watan and mulk” interchangeably. […]

Movie review: Elisabeth Moss casts a spell as famous horror author in ‘Shirley’

When “Shirley” stays on those feminist themes, it’s a striking movie. As she did in “Madeline’s Madeline,” Decker urgently rushes in sexual tension and mood with abstract scenes, choreographed blasts and an all-encompassing sound design. In relation to Shirley’s actual career, however, “Shirley” tells a fraction of this compelling character’s life. When the movie ends, […]

‘Umbrella Academy’ season two review: The apocalypse continues in the stifling 60s

Undoubtedly one of the hardest scenes to watch is Allison’s (Emmy Raver-Lampman) interaction in a ‘whites only’ diner, a disturbing reality of during the Civil Rights Movement — a reminder of the Greensboro Sit-in in North Carolina. She has the power to change realities by simply uttering “I heard a rumour…” but she opts out […]

1More Dual Driver ANC Pro review: Listen to this

If there’s an issue I have with the sound quality, it’s that I must wait before I can hear the best the Dual Driver ANC has to offer. The headphones’ app has a smart burn-in feature, which essentially plays tones and signals through your buds to “train” them, according to 1More. For the best performance, […]

‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ Review: An A-List Literary Adaptation Limps to Life

Theater legend and Bridge of Spies Oscar-winner Rylance is a standout as the character known only as the Magistrate, who runs a remote outpost on the edge of nowhere. The British actor builds the role in layers, allowing us to see and understand the Magistrate’s daily routine as he negotiates a relative peace with the […]

‘Bandish Bandits’ review: A vanilla offering that barely passes muster

Radhe’s grandfather, Pandit Radhemohan Rathod, is a celebrated singer, a strict disciplinarian, and believes the purity of music should not be tainted by filthy lucre or light music. The house has to run however, and it falls on Radhe’s father, Rajendra, to find the money to keep the home fires burning. Naturally enough, Rajendra falls […]