Arts and Entertainment

Some great authors have published their worst works from beyond the grave. A few though, keep getting better when they’re dead, such as the Chilean novelist and short story writer, Roberto Bolaño. His seminal five-part novel, 2666, came out posthumously, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and convinced the world he was not just a master of the short form but could put out his life’s best work at nearly 900 pages, even after death.

New & Collected Poems, By Ruth Fainlight

These 544 tidily bound pages might at a cursory glance look like a daunting prospect. On closer acquaintance, no one aspiring to an overview of modern poetry in English will want it to be absent from their shelves, even if these are already graced by some of Ruth Fainlight's previous 14 volumes. Her new cornucopia includes substantial selections from each of these, from Cages (1966) to Moon Wheels (2006). It starts with 22 pages of hitherto uncollected poems, and closes with another 24 of translations from the Portuguese of Sophia de Mello Breyner, the Mexican Spanish of Victor Manuel Mendiola, and the Theban Plays of Sophocles.

Swamplandia!, By Karen Russell

Russell's distinctive short-story debut St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves kicked off with a series of Florida swampland-based stories. Now readers can sink their teeth into this eccentric and exuberant first novel about a failing alligator theme park and the family that run it.

Heads Up: Operashots

A Python and a Police man call all the shots

Fan tracks down lost stories of Daphne Du Maurier

Newly rediscovered tales by the author of 'Rebecca' are acclaimed as 'gothic, suspenseful and macabre'

Mirren and Lumley to read girls' tales

Dame Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley are to summon up the "jolly hockey sticks" era for BBC Radio 4 with a season of classic girls' school tales. The stories include Enid Blyton's The Cheat and will be broadcast over three days next month.

There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour's Baby, By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, trans. Keith Gessen and Anna Summers

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, the grande dame of Russian letters, won the 2010 World Fantasy Award for this collection of short stories, subtitled "Scary Fairy Tales". While all the pieces, written over the last three decades, have some elements of mystery, their inherent realism is equally powerful. The strength of these dark modern fables is the author's ability to weave the extraordinary into the everyday without making the former an end in itself.

Lying Together, By Gaynor Arnold

Short and bittersweet stories

Shaun Ryder's lyrical confusion

Shaun Ryder doesn't understand his own songs.

First Thrills, Edited by Lee Child

Twenty-five twisted imaginations

The end for Poe's mysterious mourner

A mysterious visitor to Edgar Allan Poe's grave has failed to show up for the second year in a row.

Give Me Your Heart: tales of mystery & suspense, By Joyce Carol Oates

When the heart skips a beat

Modern novels: They're big, but they're not always clever

When did the modern novel get so long and unwieldy? Sometimes the best things come in small packages, says Arifa Akbar

Wallander's last stand: Katy Guest's essential literary look-ahead

Henning Mankell wraps up the detective's final case, plus new work from Ali Smith, Graham Swift, Joyce Carol Oates and a host of others looks set to make this a thrilling year for readers

'You're like Scrooge': Award-winning writer Jackie Kay presents her exclusive festive short story

Friendship is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you just want to be alone. And some of those times happen to be Christmas. The award-winning poet-novelist Jackie Kay presents 'Home-Alone Christmas', a festive short story written exclusively for 'The New Review'
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor