1) The Oubliette, a very impressive group of art-squatters. Currently occupying a building in Leicester Square, ffs. Previous squats: the former Mexican Embassy on Mayfair, and a language school on Oxford Street. And they’re Doing Things™ in the buildings.

2) Crooked Timber searching in vain for political novels. Even CT’s collective erudition doesn’t turn up much, at least in the Anglophone world. This is odd; surely politics should be the perfect backdrop for fiction? Constant conflict of duty, ideology, loyalty, and self-interest. Articulate, self-aware characters continually mythologizing their own lives for public consumption. A prefab Greek chorus of pundits and journalists. Day-to-day politics may be dull, cynical and idea-free, but that doesn’t stop it twisting people in fascinating ways. It’s hard to believe that nobody is doing anything with all that material. So, what excellent political novels should I be reading?

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