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Ella Fitzgerald changed what a music star could be

Culture | She bewitched, bothered and bewilderedIndustry folk were sceptical of her gender, her look and her music. She succeeded in spite of them, as a new biography showsimage: Alamy Feb 23rd 2024Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song. By Judith Tick. W.W. Norton & Company; 592 pages; $40 and £30“IT’S NICE work...

Fri Feb 23, 2024 13:55
How Ukraine’s fortunes have ebbed

Culture | The war scoreTwo new books chronicle Ukrainians’ miraculous early resistance. Today’s reality is more sombreimage: Reuters Feb 22nd 2024 (updated 23m ago)Our Enemies Will Vanish. By Yaroslav Trofimov. Penguin Press; 400 pages; $32. Michael Joseph; £25The Showman. By Simon Shuster. William Morrow; 384 pages; $32.99. William Collins; £22WHAT...

Thu Feb 22, 2024 17:03
Growing numbers of Chinese are escaping urban life for rural peace

Culture | Escape to “Dalifornia”“The Mountains Are High” examines what is driving people out of Chinese cities to the mountainsHead in the cloudsimage: Alamy Feb 22nd 2024 (updated 23m ago)The Mountains Are High. By Alec Ash. Scribe; 272 pages; £16.99IN January 2020 Alec Ash, an English writer living in Beijing, arrived in the small mountain town of...

Thu Feb 22, 2024 17:03
The history of the opium trade helps explain the modern world

Culture | Flower power“Smoke and Ashes” is a gripping, true tale of profits, power and powerlessness wrought by drugsThe bloom is offimage: Eyevine Feb 22nd 2024 (updated 23m ago)Smoke and Ashes. By Amitav Ghosh. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 416 pages; $32. John Murray; £22The opium poppy looks delicate and innocuous. But for Amitav Ghosh, an Indian writer,...

Thu Feb 22, 2024 17:03
A gripping, genre-bending novel explores Georgia’s troubled history

Culture | Debut fiction“Hard by a Great Forest” is at once a puzzle hunt and an affecting meditation on exileimage: Getty Images Feb 22nd 2024Hard by a Great Forest. By Leo Vardiashvili. Riverhead Books; 352 pages; $29. Bloomsbury; £16.99In 1992 Saba Sulidze-Donauri fled civil war in his native Georgia with his brother, Sandro, and father, Irakli, to...

Thu Feb 22, 2024 17:03
Is everything you assumed about the Middle Ages wrong?

Culture | The lives of othersThere was more to the period than violence, superstition and ignorance, argues a new bookimage: Getty Images Feb 21st 2024Medieval Horizons. By Ian Mortimer. Bodley Head; 256 pages; £22“In public, your bottom should emit no secret winds past your thighs. It disgraces you if other people notice any of your smelly filth.”...

Wed Feb 21, 2024 23:02

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