"I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour.” Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
Posts tagged "Alex Peake-Tomkinson"
Chris Cleave: Across the divide

Chris Cleave: Across the divide

Chris Cleave’s latest novel, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, is a London-set examination of the real impact of the Second World War, centring on an 18-year-old schoolteacher called Mary North. Cleave and I have tea one afternoon in Piccadilly to discuss it. There’s a reason why we’re drinking tea and not, say, vermouth. Cleave doesn’t drink....
DBC Pierre: The energising struggle

DBC Pierre: The energising struggle

DBC Pierre is already at the appointed bar when I arrive 15 minutes early for our interview. He’s smoking and chatting outside and I worry about how to interrupt him but he’s as courteous as he is convivial. We have met once before – I used to work in a bookshop in a train station...
The many faces of Lucy Caldwell

The many faces of Lucy Caldwell

Multitudes is the first book of short stories from the prizewinning novelist and playwright Lucy Caldwell. The collection is eleven stories strong and each of the stories seems to describe a character in peril so that holding one’s breath whilst reading them sometimes feels unavoidable. Caldwell agrees to meet me to discuss the stories and...
Julie Myerson: Seeing the bad stuff

Julie Myerson: Seeing the bad stuff

The Stopped Heart is Julie Myerson’s ninth novel (she has also written one novella and four works of non-fiction). It may just be her best book yet as it manages to be both a page-turning thriller and a serious exploration of how abuse works. If that sounds off-putting, it shouldn’t be – whilst her subject...
Lisa Owens unravelled

Lisa Owens unravelled

“6pm on a Thursday, and while I may not have applied for any jobs, I have made myself eligible to win a Mini Cooper, two nights in Paris and seven in Miami, £500 of vouchers for a Scandinavian clothing brand, an enormous TV (which I plan to sell on), an espresso machine (which I’ll definitely...
Meg Rosoff takes the lead

Meg Rosoff takes the lead

I go to visit Meg Rosoff in her new loft apartment, not far from Borough station. Her husband Paul and her two dogs are there too and it feels a little like the pages of her new novel Jonathan Unleashed, in which a spaniel and sheepdog have a starring role, have been brought to life....
Andrew O'Hagan: Friendly fire

Andrew O’Hagan: Friendly fire

I have tea with Andrew O’Hagan one morning at his house in Primrose Hill. We start talking about Seamus Heaney, a great friend of O’Hagan’s who died two years ago. I ask if he misses Heaney. “Oh, every day. He had this brilliant tendency to take you under his wing, to be concerned about you...
David Nicholls steps up

David Nicholls steps up

I meet David Nicholls for coffee at his house one weekday morning. We talk about Henry James and he tells me that he read Portrait of a Lady last year. The novel obviously had an impact on him as he quotes from it in his latest, rather wonderful novel, Us. I want to get to...
Kerry Hudson: Love and need

Kerry Hudson: Love and need

Kerry Hudson’s award-winning debut novel Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma drew partly on her experiences of growing up on estates and in B&Bs. Her second, Thirst, is about Alena, a woman sex-trafficked from Siberia, and Dave, a security guard who catches her shoplifting. When I meet Hudson for...
Sheila Heti talks unpretty

Sheila Heti talks unpretty

Sheila Heti’s most recent novel How Should a Person Be? is a book that’s not afraid of appearing ugly, either aesthetically or morally. There is even a chapter called ‘Sheila Throws Her Shit’. Its writer, however, has a generous spirit, a sincere belief in the importance of art and that same mixture of confidence and...