Charlotte Mendelson: Invisible alien

One of the fascinating things about being human is that none of us have any idea what’s going on in the heads or the lives of anyone else, even the people we live with or are related to.”


Night_Rainbow_thumbnailClaire King’s top ten child narrators

“Child protagonists are trapped as observers, ingenuous participants in their environment, and it is the tension in this that can make their stories so illuminating.”


unexploded_thumbnailAlison MacLeod’s tips for writers

“Write the story or novel you want to read, the story that comes to mind in the middle of the night for reasons you only half understand – and never let anyone tell you there are rules to write by.”


Homage_to_Catalonia_thumbnailMoments in literature: Orwell’s Spanish Civil War

“I came to Spain to write newspaper articles, but joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do.”


Cocaine_thumbnail_flipAlexander Stille: Cocaine and other addictions

“Mussolini appears to have been a fan. When Pitigrilli’s books were attacked for their immorality, he defended them: ‘He photographs the times. If our society is corrupt, it’s not his fault.’”


Hannah_Kent_thumbnailHannah Kent: From Adelaide to Icelandic noir

“The story of the murder and execution had been mythologised, in a way that I thought was unfair – because no one is all bad, just as no one is all good.”


Crumpled_sheet_thumbnailBrett Marie: Sex Education

“A few beats go by. I follow her lead; I will not look at her body until she looks at mine. Eventually she turns her head, peers over the edge of the bed and breaks into an awkward giggle.”



Meg Wolitzer and Matthew Crow share theirwriting habits and literary heroes, Saskia Sarginson explores the world of twins, Kieran Devaney introduces a hairy protagonist, a creepy forest tale by Deepa Anappara, and an immaculate Catalan curiosity from Pere Calders.