"Money won’t save us. Things won’t save us. We’ve failed our moral responsibility to be stewards of this planet. I hope this epiphany arrives, and I hope it leads to change." Rumaan Alam
Posts tagged "John Murray"
Journeys of the mind

Journeys of the mind

From the strange workings of the brain, life in a care home in France, to the privileged girls of a boarding school in America via a trip to Bosnia to face up to the past, there is plenty for you to lose yourself in as 2021 cranks into gear. With Delphine de Vigan a cult...
Lasting impressions

Lasting impressions

I often panic when I am asked about my ‘favourite’ books, especially since publishing my own debut novel Hashim & Family earlier this year. It is such a personal question – there is so much to be understood about someone from learning about the books that they love – that it can almost feel like...
Having words in Manchester

Having words in Manchester

There’s an old quip: ‘What’s another word for a thesaurus?’ In fact, there is another word for a thesaurus and what’s more, there always has been: synonymicon. Next time someone rolls out that old line, you can respond by telling them that. It might not make you the most popular person at a party, but...
The summer Smiley saved me

The summer Smiley saved me

In the summer of 1989, breaking up with a man I had been engaged to marry, I flew to Taipei. I didn’t have a job, but I was sure I could teach English. I didn’t have a place to live, but I had the address of a hostel with hundreds of beds. I had a...
Taking flight

Taking flight

Nature writing has experienced a resurgence in recent times, not least as a means of exploring a wide range of personal issues and experiences. This is reflected in this year’s shortlist for The Wainwright Prize, an award for exceptional books about the great British outdoors, named in honour of the celebrated fell-walker, author and illustrator...
Nature, faith and horror

Nature, faith and horror

I’ve always been drawn to wild, lonely places. It might have something to do with the summer holidays I had as a child – never a hotel in Benidorm or Tenerife, but camping in Keswick or Wharfedale. We weren’t a family that lobstered on sun loungers; our days were spent circumnavigating a lake or scrambling...
MA vs LON?

MA vs LON?

The perennial ‘Can writing be taught?’ question rarely seems far from the book pages, but a couple of creative-writing-related stories have received particular media attention this year. One was Hanif Kureishi’s slightly mischievous comment that creative writing courses are a “waste of time” (he teaches the subject at Kingston University). The other was the publication...
The tiger who came to stay

The tiger who came to stay

The main character of my first novel, The Night Guest, is a seventy-five-year-old woman named Ruth. People often ask me how it was that I came to write a book about an elderly woman. I assume they ask this because I’m not elderly; this leap of imagination, from young to old, seems particularly hard to...
Waking up to Middlemarch

Waking up to Middlemarch

Pamela Erens’ new novel The Virgins is an unflinchingly unsettling fresh take on the traditions of the boarding-school novel, in which a repentant narrator looks back on his past actions as a titillated but embittered bystander observing and provoking the crumbling relationship of a co-ed academy’s golden couple. Where are you now? Sitting at my...