It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. Over the past decades, the term “Anthropocene” has climbed into the popular imagination – a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet.

But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, … More

Not far from London, there is a village. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. It belongs to Mad Pete, the grizzled artist. To ancient Peggy, gossiping at her gate. To families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here…

But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, … More

London is a city of ruins and rubble: in fighting against a police state Britain has become almost a police state itself. Rationing is still in place, the black market is thriving, medical shortages have resulted in antibiotics being watered down. Though Britain was possessed of great decency there was a limit to what it might be expected to bear after suffering six years of war. The barbarities of war had changed peoples’ attitudes; nobody thought of foreigners in terms of human beings.

Lulled by a series of swift and sure dissolves, in an apparently orthodox romance of Irish immigrant life in post-war … More

In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving. Before she became an acclaimed musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties…

Meaningful Conversations and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living. Returning more than three decades … More

The title Dangerous Dog raises expectations of a certain aggressive, punky aesthetic, which is certainly present, but the collection is richer and broader than that, even surprisingly traditional in places. The poems explore a truly impressive range of themes and moods, from the small-scale and domestic in poems such as ‘Asleep: Breathing Observed’ and ‘Burberry Tie’, to meditations on humankind’s place in the universe and the nature of freedom.

The ‘title track’ ‘Dangerous Dog’ is like a key to the whole book. Images of confinement (there’s a recurring motif … More

A lifetime of activist experience informs this playbook for building and conducting nonviolent direct action campaigns Beginning as a trainer in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, George Lakey has been on the front lines of social change for decades. Now, in this timely and down-to-earth guide, he passes the torch to a new generation of activists hitting the streets.

He looks to successful campaigns across the world to help us see what has worked and what hasn’t: from choosing the right … More

Cassandra Darke is an art dealer, mean, selfish, solitary by nature, living in Chelsea in a house worth £7 million. She has become a social pariah, but doesn’t much care. Between one Christmas and the next, she has sullied the reputation of a West End gallery & has acquired a conviction for fraud, a suspended sentence & a bank balance drained by lawsuits. On the scale of villainy, fraud seems to Cassandra a rather paltry offence – her own crime involving `no violence, no weapon, no dead body’. But in Cassandra’s basement, her young ex-lodger, Nicki, has left a surprise, something which implies at least violence and probably a body . .

… Something which forces Cassandra out of her rich enclave and onto the streets. Not those local streets paved with … More

Sincerity is Duffy’s final collection of poems as Poet Laureate. Time and its passage are at the heart of this reflective work, which gazes out from the autumn of life. There are moving elegies here for what has departed; whether that be children who have flown the nest, a way of life, literary luminaries, past loves, lost parents or our own youth.

As Duffy dramatizes scenes from childhood, adolescence and adulthood, she finds moments of grace or consolation in memory, love and … More