EDMUND DE WAAL’S NEW BOOK

      When is a life worth telling? Edmund de Waal’s haunting account of a Parisian collector and the fate of his Jewish family during the German occupation of France combines ghastly drama with domestic detail, in a jewel-like amalgam of history and personal reflection that absorbs from start to finish. Ten years on from The Hare with Amber …

INFERNAL CENSORSHIP: HOW DANTE FELL FOUL OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY

      My book on Dante Alighieri was due to come out in Chinese translation later this year, but first I had to consent to sizeable cuts. Even by the standards of other authoritarian states the Beijing censors struck me as overzealous. It seems odd that the medieval Italian poet could cause such unease among modern-day totalitarians. A sanitised …