Kim and country

Artifice and dissembling have long been daily requirements for those seeking to escape — or just survive — life in North Korea. Review by Simon Mundy

©National Media Museum

‘The Story of Alice’, by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

AN Wilson on a literary biography that explores the genesis of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and its influence

©Simon Pemberton

‘Preparation for the Next Life’, by Atticus Lish

A former soldier and an illegal immigrant come to New York to seek a better life in this triumphant debut novel. Review by Erica Wagner

Book review: Becoming Steve Jobs

A sympathetic portrait of Steve Jobs seeks to show its subject overcoming youthful excesses

‘Leonora’, by Elena Poniatowska

Ángel Gurría-Quintana on a sprawling fictionalised account of the life of the painter Leonora Carrington

‘The Tears of the Rajas’, by Ferdinand Mount

An argument that British rule in India could have taken a more tolerant form leaves Maria Misra unconvinced

‘Aquarium’, by David Vann

The author deftly juxtaposes the beauty of aquatic life and the tensions of a family in crisis, says Carl Wilkinson

‘Is the American Century Over?’

Joe Nye asks if military and ‘soft’ power can make up for the US’s economic decline. Review by Gideon Rachman

‘Hausfrau’, by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Review by Alice Fishburn

The Cunning House book cover

‘The Cunning House’, by Richard Marggraf Turley

Review by Barry Forshaw

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