Author Archives: lesleychamberlain

Naipaul’s Journey into Darkness

In V.S. Naipaul’s novel In a Free State the intensity of his descriptions of landscape, and of the forcefield of competing human existences, is staggering. Has there been a better winner of the Booker Prize, the best-known and most lucrative … Continue reading

Posted in Anyone's Game - my latest novel, english literature, Girl in a Garden- my first novel, novels, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , ,

Armando Iannucci The Death of Stalin: how do you make comedy out of tragedy?

Armando Iannucci’s film The Death of Stalin (2017) graced The New York Times’ best-of-the-year list last December for good reason. It raised the question of how you treat comically a story of moral depravity on a vast scale. It reminded … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Cold War, Film, Russia, Writing | Tagged , ,

The End of the Gift of Language?

In November 2010 one of this country’s subtlest interpreters of French thought gave a lecture in the capital on Aristotle and his critics. Geoffrey Bennington’s rare London appearance was billed ‘Political Animals…’ but his actual topic was The Death of … Continue reading

Posted in American literature, Britain Today, French intellectuals, novels, postmodernism, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The genius of The Human Stain

Would they have given Philip Roth a Pulitzer prize for such an indictment of the state of America as his great novel, The Human Stain, turned out to be? It wasn’t published until 2000 but maybe it was in gestation … Continue reading

Posted in American literature, New York Intellectuals, novels, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Le Carré’s Legacy: Passion in Germany and the Maze of Betrayal

In possibly his last novel, A Legacy of Spies (2017) John le Carré, aged 86, has done what writers and artists long to do, not for their audiences but for the sake of their own soul. He’s found the perfect … Continue reading

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The Skripal Affair and the Problem of Russia

  A few nights ago on the BBC the Russia expert Andrei Illarionov, once a Putin confederate and now at Washington’s Cato Institute, was asked about Britain’s best response to the latest attempt to murder Russian state enemies on British … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Britain Today, Cold War, Current Affairs, Russia | Tagged , , , ,

The Sculptor, the Spy and a Moment of Political Sincerity

The story of how the highly distinguished art historian and former Cambridge Apostle Anthony Blunt was unmasked in 1979 as having been a spy for Soviet Russia, has a peculiar appeal for my generation and roundabout. I imagine John le … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Anyone's Game - my latest novel, Art History, Britain Today, Cold War, Russian Revolution 1917, Writing | Tagged , , , , , ,