"Hwang Sok-yong has a knack of presenting us with stories that look like the simple jottings of an idle, curious man... yet each phrase almost is invested with the power of a parable." Mika Provata-Carlone
Interviews
John Lanchester: Behind the barricades

John Lanchester: Behind the barricades

John Lanchester’s The Wall is a dystopian vision of post-climate-collapse Britain. As the seas have risen, all the world’s beaches and low-lying communities have been submerged, and vast displaced populations are cast adrift on the oceans in a perilous search of safe harbour. In common with other still-habitable territories, Britain’s rocky coast is topped by...
William Ryan: Seeking answers to the darkness

William Ryan: Seeking answers to the darkness

William Ryan’s historical thriller A House of Ghosts has been receiving high praise in the press and from readers. I’m willing to bet the stunning cover design, featuring an embossed gold-leaf image of Blackwater Abbey, has played a part in the novel’s success. Stars flicker in the night sky and stylised rays of light fan...
Claire Fuller: The female gaze

Claire Fuller: The female gaze

Claire Fuller’s third novel Bitter Orange is a delicious read that lingers in the reader’s subconscious long after the final page is turned. It’s the summer of 1969 and Frances, Peter and Cara are camping out at Lyntons, a once-grand, neoclassical mansion that they’re surveying for its new American owner. Frances is a socially awkward...
Emma Curtis: Face to face

Emma Curtis: Face to face

Writers find inspiration in many places, some more interesting than others. A quick poll on Twitter was met with the following responses: an overheard conversation in a cafe, a photo of a flood on the wall of a local pub, a piece of flash fiction, a news article, and a chance encounter with Martin Scorsese...
Hauntings on the home front

Hauntings on the home front

If my recent reading list is anything to go by, crime novels that touch on the paranormal are growing in popularity. Often set in houses that evoke an atmosphere of fear and dread, many of these storylines have elements found in Gothic horror. The reader is left to decide whether the house is truly haunted...
Louise Candlish: Location, location

Louise Candlish: Location, location

Louise Candlish’s twelfth novel Our House is an outstanding thriller that has been receiving high praise. I had the good fortune to meet Louise earlier this year in Bristol where we were both attending Crimefest. A few weeks later I received a copy of Our House in the post. Set in a leafy London suburb...
Richard Skinner: Getting going

Richard Skinner: Getting going

Richard Skinner is Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy and a tutor on its six-month Writing a Novel course. Working across fiction, life writing, non-fiction and poetry, his latest book is Writing a Novel: Bring Your Ideas To Life The Faber Academy Way. I fire off some questions about the book, the course...
Rachel Heng: Forever people

Rachel Heng: Forever people

Rachel Heng’s remarkable debut novel Suicide Club imagines a disturbing not-so-distant New York in which death is put on hold for those with wealth and power and the determination to cling on, while the majority are left gawping at the gates of immortality. Lea is a 100-year-old ‘lifer’ with a high-powered job, whose trust in...
Tara Isabella Burton: My sister's keeper

Tara Isabella Burton: My sister’s keeper

I have this friend on Facebook. Man, she just about glows in the dark. For the past five years, she’s been adding sparkle to my feed with posts about her opulent lifestyle. From the stream of articles she posts on her timeline (in Salon, National Geographic Traveler and Vox, to name just three), I’d say...
Stitching up our mouths

Stitching up our mouths

The first copies of the paperback edition of The Book of Untruths have arrived and again I am awake for hours in the night. This has happened before. A sleeplessness which is kicked off by the unintended consequences of writing a life. Needing soothed I message the poet Joanne Limburg, who has given much thought...