culture

  • Vagina tunnels and sneaker closets: the escapist appeal of celebrity house tours

    Vagina tunnels and sneaker closets: the escapist appeal of celebrity house toursIn new column Internet wormhole, Guardian Australia writers take you to their favourite corner of the web. First up: an inviting – and voyeuristic – YouTube series Cara Delevingne emerges from her vagina tunnel in the Architectural Digest Open Homes series. Photograph: Architectural Digest/Youtube

  • ‘The unsung heroes of Australian fauna’: how quolls can help us understand the modern world

    ‘The unsung heroes of Australian fauna’: how quolls can help us understand the modern worldFor author Harry Saddler, a small Australian mammal has become the catalyst for larger questions about colonisation, parenthood and climate crisis An eastern quoll at the animal reserve Aussie Ark at Barrington Tops, NSW. ‘We have to fight for what we have left’ Harry Saddler says. Photograph: Lachlan Gilding/Aussie Ark

  • Middle Eastern stand-ups: ‘People assume we only do terrorist jokes’

    Middle Eastern stand-ups: ‘People assume we only do terrorist jokes’Tired of racism on the comedy scene, Jenan Younis started her own night Weapons of Mass Hilarity – where gags about body hair and Farsi abound David Lewis MCs the first Weapons of Mass Hilarity gig. Photograph: Noor Lozi

  • The Two Character Play review – hermetic sibling psychodrama

    The Two Character Play review – hermetic sibling psychodramaHampstead theatre, LondonTennessee Williams’s play within a play uses ingenious artifice, as its actor brother and sister perform their way into madness, but locks out the audience Losing their grip … Zubin Varla and Kate O’Flynn in The Two Character Play at the Hampstead theatre. Photograph: Marc Brenner

  • Picture books for children – reviews

    Picture books for children – reviews. From a giggly desert island to the humble hero of the Titanic, these illustrated tales will buoy up young minds

  • Rachel Cusk’s singular novel stands out on wide-ranging Booker longlist

    Rachel Cusk’s singular novel stands out on wide-ranging Booker longlist. Second Place is both timeless and up-to-the minute, with big names Richard Powers and Kazuo Ishiguro among strong international finalists News: Booker reveals globe-spanning longlist

  • Borges and Me: An Encounter by Jay Parini review – a bumpy literary road trip

    Borges and Me: An Encounter by Jay Parini review – a bumpy literary road trip. Parini’s ‘novelised memoir’ draws on memories of a real-life meeting with Jorge Luis Borges, but can’t quite live up to the inspiration of the Argentine titan

  • Booker prize reveals globe-spanning longlist of ‘engrossing stories’

    Booker prize reveals globe-spanning longlist of ‘engrossing stories’Kazuo Ishiguro makes cut alongside Rachel Cusk and Richard Powers, and novels from Sri Lanka and South Africa compete with choices from the US and UK ‘Geographical range’ … 2021 Booker prize longlistees (from left clockwise: Kazuo Ishiguro, Rachel Cusk, Richard Powers, Patricia Lockwood, Sunjeev Sahota and Nadifa Mohamed. Composite: Getty Images, Rex/Shutterstock

  • Notting Hill carnival launches fund for bands and artists hit by cancelled event

    Notting Hill carnival launches fund for bands and artists hit by cancelled eventFinancial hardship due to Covid pandemic put some performers’ futures in peril, say organisers A costumed reveller marches in the Notting Hill Carnival, west London, which has been taken off the streets for a second year running due to the Covid pandemic. Photograph: Tim Ireland/AP

  • How we made Viz: ‘We printed 150 copies for £42.52’

    How we made Viz: ‘We printed 150 copies for £42.52’‘There were complaints that The Fat Slags stereotyped women as sex objects – but they were using their sexuality to get what they wanted, so it was quite the opposite’ ‘The idea that you could sell such vulgarity was stunning’ … Viz characters Roger Mellie, Johnny Fartpants, The Fat Slags, Biffa Bacon and Sid the Sexist. Composite: Viz/Guardian Design

  • National Youth Dance Company: Speak Volumes – next-gen movers make themselves heard

    National Youth Dance Company: Speak Volumes – next-gen movers make themselves heard. Sadler’s Wells, LondonUnder the aegis of choreographer Alesandra Seutin, this year’s NYDC cohort perform with attitude, vulnerability and masses of energy

  • Poem of the week: The Maid’s Tale by MR Peacocke

    Poem of the week: The Maid’s Tale by MR PeacockeA young woman newly ‘in service’ tries to make sense of the enigmatic flap her fellow servants are rushing to attend to ‘Then it comes to me, it’s all right! / And I’m happy. Happy as a birthday’ … Léa Seydoux in Diary of a Chambermaid Photograph: Publicity image

  • The Echo Chamber by John Boyne review – Hogarthian remorselessness

    The Echo Chamber by John Boyne review – Hogarthian remorselessnessBoyne taps into the spirit of late-period Tom Sharpe in a relentless satire of social media centred around a chatshow host Commuters on the London underground: Boyne’s ‘targets are the smartphone-addicted, the click-obsessed’. Photograph: Sam Mellish/In Pictures/Getty Images

  • The Year of the End by Anne Theroux review – on being married to the talent in the room

    The Year of the End by Anne Theroux review – on being married to the talent in the room. Anne Theroux recalls Paul Theroux’s flair for duplicity in a strange but moving account of the dying days of their marriage

  • Why is the photo of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on a yacht so compelling?

    Why is the photo of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on a yacht so compelling?. It is as though, for one brief moment, nothing bad that has happened since 2002 matters

  • Splendour XR: virtual music festival was an eerie, empty reminder of what we’ve lost

    Splendour XR: virtual music festival was an eerie, empty reminder of what we’ve lost. Splendour in the Grass’s virtual edition promised a ‘world-first online experience’ where ‘music, art and culture reigns supreme’. It did not deliver

  • Rachel: John Early and Kate Berlant star in 11 tense minutes of millennial nightmare

    Rachel: John Early and Kate Berlant star in 11 tense minutes of millennial nightmare. Directed by Andrew DeYoung, the short film about a farewell party gone wrong is part cringe comedy, part psychological thriller – based on a true story

  • Funding for Australia’s arts sector needs a ‘public-led reboot’ to survive, report finds

    Funding for Australia’s arts sector needs a ‘public-led reboot’ to survive, report finds. Arts lovers should brace for ‘big casualties’ among the country’s companies, says report’s author

  • Jackie Mason: compellingly blunt joke-teller who was part of standup history

    Jackie Mason: compellingly blunt joke-teller who was part of standup historyThough in later years he fell from fashion, his rabbinical style in early routines felt very much like live comedy’s native tongue ‘If I say a word or a line or even a sentence that doesn’t get a laugh then I throw it out’ ... Jackie Mason. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

  • In briefs: Homeland Elegies; What You Can See from Here; The Accidental Footballer – review

    In briefs: Homeland Elegies; What You Can See from Here; The Accidental Footballer – review. A twisty tale of Trump’s America, a charmingly strange bestseller, and a surprising sports memoir

  • Black Victorians review – bodiced bodies break free of restraints

    Black Victorians review – bodiced bodies break free of restraintsMilton Keynes international festivalInspired by formal portrait photography of black Victorian Britons, Jeanefer Jean-Charles’s sensual dance work restores life and humanity to its forgotten subjects Uncanny images … Black Victorians, at Milton Keynes international festival. Photograph: Carys Underwood

  • Paul by Daisy Lafarge review – a woman at a loss for words

    Paul by Daisy Lafarge review – a woman at a loss for wordsA British volunteer on a farm in France is ensnared by a middle-aged man in this elegant if familiar tale of female passivity Daisy Lafarge: ‘highly readable’. Photograph: James McNaught

  • Dennis Severs’ House recreates his eccentric tours based on found tapes

    Dennis Severs’ House recreates his eccentric tours based on found tapes. Hundreds of cassettes found in cupboards at late showman’s London house, which reopens this week

  • UK libraries become ‘death positive’ with books and art on dying

    UK libraries become ‘death positive’ with books and art on dyingScheme that started in Redbridge to help people talk about difficult subject is rolled out across country Redbridge Central Library’s curated display of books on the subject of death and dying. Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

  • Jeanette Winterson: ‘The male push is to discard the planet: all the boys are going off into space’

    Jeanette Winterson: ‘The male push is to discard the planet: all the boys are going off into space’. The writer’s new essay collection covers 200 years of women and science, from Mary Shelley to AI. She discusses burning books and the ensuing Twitter storm, the end of her marriage, and why a move into politics could be next

  • Moth by Melody Razak review – the end of innocence in India

    Moth by Melody Razak review – the end of innocence in India. This atmospheric debut follows a family of Delhi Brahmins as they plan their daughter’s wedding against the backdrop of partition