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Culture Literature

The Uncomfortable Truth about Racism by John Barnes

CW: references to racially aggravated violence In 2019, beloved Irish actor Liam Neeson made headlines for his controversial comments on race. While promoting the film Cold Pursuit, he told a story from nearly 40 years prior when a friend of his had been raped by a Black man. Neeson was so enraged that, for a […]

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Culture Literature

Book Review: Caleb Azumah Nelson, ‘Open Water’

In the last issue of The Student, featuring a selection of cultural recommendations for Black History Month, one of the titles was Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson. At the end of this month, I review it to keep the discussion alive – and perhaps encourage you to read something refreshing this Autumn. Published in […]

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Edinburgh International Book Festival

EIBF 2022: Nadifa Mohamed, For Whom is Justice Served?

For whom was justice served on the 3rd of September, 1952? Not for a soul, Nadifa Mohamed declares in her novel The Fortune Men. Released in 2021, the book focuses on the infamous case surrounding Lily Volpert’s murder in 1952, but in her talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Mohamed also reveals its greater […]

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Culture Literature

You should read: Thirst by Scott Harrison

If you read one book this year, it should be Thirst. Scott Harrison’s 2018 memoir is a story of redemption and one selfish man’s understanding that the world is bigger than himself. Harrison, founder and C.E.O of Charity: Water, talks us through his life story, following his journey from a club promoter to his founding one […]

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Culture Literature

Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Walk into a bookshop and take a step; you’re likely to have walked past at least three re-tellings, one of them probably fairy tale based. Society appears bereft of original ideas. That’s not to suggest that it is impossible to write a good re-telling; there are just certain elements that need to be present for it […]

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Culture Literature

An unflinching and intimate debut: Raven Leilani’s Luster

Raven Leilani’s 2021 debut novel Luster is a transfusion of a ‘fuck it’ kind of vitality through its urgency, authenticity, and cutting satire. The story takes an unflinching eye to Edie, a 23-year-old Black woman perpetually messing up in a world that is openly hostile to her in its sexism, racism, and capitalism.  It’s unsurprising that, in […]

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Culture Literature

Putting the human in humanoid: on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun

The arrival of a new Ishiguro novel is undoubtedly a main event in any year’s literary calendar. This month, the Nobel and Booker Prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro released his eighth title, Klara and the Sun. Ishiguro has long been a pillar of contemporary literary fiction. Though not without his detractors, many of whom critique […]

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Culture Literature

Modernising the gothic novel: Sarah Penner’s The Lost Apothecary

CW: miscarriage, suicide “To me, the allure of history lay in the minutiae of life long ago, the untold secrets of ordinary people“ In a London alleyway in 1790, behind a false wall, there is an apothecary shop. It doesn’t sell cold cures or compresses, but instead something far more deadly. The woman who runs […]