“There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "Jonathan Cape"
Dim background figures

Dim background figures

Among the bold colours and radically liberating shapes that conjured up so indelibly the world of the Bloomsbury Group painters, between the layers of meaning and style of the new women writers, under the shadows or glaring light of history, and at a tantalising distance, both flirtatious and cautionary, from the figures who dominated early...
Passion and compassion

Passion and compassion

In the opening chapter of Regina Porter’s The Travelers, a small dozing girl drifts into the deep end of a pool whilst her grandfather is preoccupied. She doesn’t drown in the end, just as Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom’s granddaughter didn’t drown in John Updike’s Rabbit at Rest. Porter has nonetheless managed to compress a span of...
Docta puella

Docta puella

“This book is about a poet who disappeared, about a woman who pursued her career in a blaze of publicity, while leading a secret life that eventually destroyed her, and who left such a legacy of lies and evasion that her true story can only now be told,” writes Lucasta Miller in the preface of...
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...
Better than love

Better than love

“‘For too many years,’” Max recited, “‘women have been excluded from the full pleasure available to them in their bodies.’” He was reading from a printed sheet of paper. A press release. “‘I believe, as do many medical professionals, that a large proportion of chronic mental and physical ailments beset women because they accumulate stress...
Let the reader in

Let the reader in

I only have one tip for writing that I feel strongly about, and that is to write something that allows space for the reader. The reader is a living, breathing presence in the novel – not a particular reader for whose tastes you must write, but a notional one: a mind that lives among your...
This scatter must be gathered

This scatter must be gathered

On the night of 8 June 2014, a pack of ten terrorists raided Karachi airport. They were well trained and equipped with an arsenal of grenades, suicide vests, a rocket launcher and automatic weapons. They broke through the airport security guised as security personnel. As the attack unfolded, I sat in disbelief in front of...
Real writers

Real writers

I began with a storm. Not my choice – I was seven, we were writing poems in class, and storms were our topic. I can’t remember writing anything creative before, and I didn’t know much about poetry. My poem began: Thunder lightning crash Stones and pebbles splash I thought it would be brave Not to...
Embarking on a bon voyage

Embarking on a bon voyage

    Gentle Tweeter, The summer I spent on my nana’s farm upstate offered no end of diversions. Amusement could be found in, for example, shelling peas or shucking corn. A scintillating plethora of cherries offered themselves for the ready pitting. I breathlessly complained that I simply did not know where to begin. A lurching...
Lighter Than My Shadow

Lighter Than My Shadow

Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She’d sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats she’d have to eat it for breakfast. But in any life a set of circumstances can collide, and normal behaviour can soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. Lighter...