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Book review: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

‘The Testaments’, Margaret Atwood’s much anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale concludes the dystopian fable set in Gilead, a fictionalised United States. The book is an engaging read, continuing with the same themes, namely the subjugation of women in a patriarchal society, and some of the same characters as The Handmaid’s Tale. The 2019 Booker prize was controversially awarded jointly to The…

Open House 2019: Walthamstow Wetlands

On the approach to Engine House at Walthamstow Wetlands the stark outline of the structure with its chimney tower against a cloudy sky could be from a painting by Constable, if not for the Overground train running directly past the building. The Engine House is now a Visitor Centre at the heart of the Wetlands project which has seen nearly 705,000 visitors to its reservoirs and marshland since it…

Theatre review: Small Island

It is proof of Small Island’s popularity that the Olivier Theatre was filled to capacity, holding 1150 people all waiting to be entertained over three and a half hours on the evening after a blisteringly hot day. The play is adapted from Andrea Levy’s novel of the same name.

Why is Small Island so popular? It might be a favourite book for many people who come to see much loved characters…

Review: Parliament House, Canberra

A must see when visiting Canberra, the Australian capital, is Parliament house. Its distinctive façade with outstretched walls invites people in and has become an iconic image of Canberra. Other exceptional features of this vast construction which was opened by her Majesty the Queen in 1988 include the base of the flagpole on the building’s roof (one of the largest steel structures in the world…

Book review: 'In Our Mad and Furious City' by Guy Gunaratne

Guy Gunaratne’s debut novel ‘In Our Mad and Furious City’ was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker prize but didn’t make it to the shortlist. Nevertheless it has generated a lot of buzz. It's a perceptive look at young manhood today, brimming with heart and hormones. 2015 Booker winner Marlon James says the novel is “so of this moment that you don’t even realise you’ve waited your whole life for it.”