Alan Hollinghurst, author of the 2004 Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Line of Beauty, is not someone you read too many interviews with, due in no small part to the fact he’s not someone you read too many books by – only five since he first appeared in 1988 with The Swimming Pool Library. The latest of those five is The Stranger’s Beauty, which is released in New Zealand on July 11. Hollinghurst talks to Claire Allfree about the novel and his career in this weekend’s Arts & Book lead.
Elsewhere in nine pages of books, Craig Ranapia makes his Listener reviewing debut, writing about Edward St Aubyn’s At Last; Claire Regnault, co-author of New Zealand Post Book Awards finalist The Dress Circle: New Zealand Fashion Design Since 1940, reviews Lucy Siegle’s To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?; Pattrick Smellie casts a sceptical eye over Bruce Philp’s Consumer Republic: Using Brands to Get What You Want, Make Corporations Behave, and Maybe Even Save the World and a more approving one over William Poundstone’s Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It); Peter Riordan reviews fellow travel writer Jill Worrall’s Two Wings and a Nightingale: Persian Soul, Islamic Heart; and John McCrystal, co-author (with Gareth Morgan) of Poles Apart: Beyond the Shouting, Who’s Right About Climate Change?, returns to frozen climes via Grant Redvers’s Tara Arctic: A New Zealander’s Epic Voyage. We also have Sarah Chandler’s roundup of three military memoirs and Gavin McLean’s of three biographies of 19th-century figures from the pre-Treaty period and beyond.
On our other arts pages, Helene Wong previews non-documentaries at the New Zealand International Film Festival (David Larsen does the docos next weekend); Mark Amery interviews Paul McNamara about the vital gateway for New Zealand photography provided by his McNamara Gallery in Whanganui; and Jim Pinckney reviews new albums by the Horrors, WU LYF and DJ Harvey.
That was the Horrors
and DJ Harvey
One can imagine the characters in Alan Hollinghurst’s 1998 novel The Spell clubbing to that last one.