“There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "Hodder & Stoughton"
Gavin Extence: An occupied mind

Gavin Extence: An occupied mind

The set-up for Gavin Extence’s The Empathy Problem is as bleak as they come: Gabriel Vaughn, a hotshot hedge fund executive with a heart of stone, is given only months to live when he learns that he has an inoperable brain tumour. The tumour happens to be located in the part of his brain that...
Writing on with a joyful cackle

Writing on with a joyful cackle

Perhaps Stephen King skimmed over the fine print when he signed his deal with the Devil to become one of the most successful authors of all time. Maybe the streetlights were too dim on that gloomy night at the crossroads, and he missed the clause that stated: “Henceforth, upon expiration of x months on worldwide...
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...
A novelist by default

A novelist by default

This year I became an accidental author. Not that I didn’t want to write a novel, I always thought I would one day, but it wasn’t on my to-do list anytime soon. My previous writing career had encompassed scriptwriting for everything connected to cinema and TV, from soap opera to drama, short film to feature...
Witching with ink

Witching with ink

With very few exceptions, books about writing are nuts-and-bolts manuals. They should be kept with the recipe books and IKEA furniture assembly instructions. The idea is that if you follow the steps, apply logic and put in the hours, you will construct something as substantial as a house. Do these three things sufficiently well, and...
What you really want

What you really want

1. Celebrate the small victories They actually aren’t small at all! The best part about being a writer is writing, not publishing or being interviewed or having your author photo taken. The satisfaction of blocking out time, holding yourself accountable to your goals and putting words on the page isn’t contingent on an agent’s approval...
Kirsty Wark: Stand by your words

Kirsty Wark: Stand by your words

Kirsty Wark greets me at the front door of her London pad wearing a pinny and no make-up. Truly impressive: here is a woman so comfortable in her skin (and in HD) who instantly inspires trust and warmth – the latter greatly helped by the spring sunshine that splits the sky. Setting up our camera...
Tickled pink, black and blue

Tickled pink, black and blue

When Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize in 2010 with The Finkler Question, there was much debate and discussion about humour in novels and how this was the first time a comic book had won the prize. What nonsense! In my experience, all the best books contain humour. This is, of course, an exaggeration,...
A.S. Byatt: ‘The July Ghost’

A.S. Byatt: ‘The July Ghost’

In my early-to-mid-twenties, I decided it was time to take up reading again. I was newly single, I had a boring job, and I lived at home with my parents. I needed some excitement in my life so I returned to books. I’d read avidly as a child and into my teens, but I wasn’t...
Not so very different

Not so very different

My name is Adeliza Golding. I am born breech and nearly kill Mother. I hear her muffled screams from within the dark warmth of her belly and kick my feet to rid her of me. I enter the world in a flood of fluid and blood, pulled by the hands of Doctor. When I cry...