French novelist Patrick Modiano in Paris in 1969
©Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Corbis

The making of Patrick Modiano

The Nobel laureate’s newly translated works take us back to the beginning of his project to grapple with the dark years of Nazi rule, writes Tobias Grey

The Spender family, photographed in 1959
©Lizzie and Matthew Spender Collection

‘A House in St John’s Wood’, by Matthew Spender

A memoir by Stephen Spender’s son offers a revealing insight into the complex family, writes John Sutherland

‘The Moor’s Account’, by Laila Lalami

A historical novel recounts an ill-fated expedition to the New World through a slave’s eyes. Review by Lucy Popescu

Front cover of ‘Death by Video Game’, by Simon Parkin

‘Death by Video Game’, by Simon Parkin

A journey through the world of video gaming looks for meaning as well as thrills. Review by Barney Thompson

‘The Lock and Key of Medicine’, by Lara Marks

The long road from laboratory to clinic for a transformative class of drugs. Review by Geoffrey Owen

Jimi Hendrix performing at Woodstock in 1969
©Larry C Morris/The New York Times/Eyevine

The sound and fury of rock and pop

Popular music has packed a lot into its brief history, writes Peter Aspden

Clive James at his home in Cambridge
©Phil Fisk/Camera Press

‘Latest Readings’ and ‘Sentenced to Life’, by Clive James

The author’s latest essays and poems are haunted by death — yet radiate life, writes Jason Cowley

©Luke Waller

‘Man on Fire’, by Stephen Kelman

A washed-up Englishman and an Indian ‘extreme sportsman’ form an affecting alliance. Review by Malcolm Forbes

‘The Man Who Closed the Asylums’, by John Foot

A portrait of an Italian psychiatrist who initiated radical reforms in mental healthcare. Review by Sarah Wise

‘A Little Life’, by Hanya Yanagihara

A nightmarish childhood of abuse lies at the centre of a hymn to lifelong friendship. Review by Maria Crawford