"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 "Sceptre"
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....
Tips for living

Tips for living

Britt-Marie is not judgemental, or fussy, or difficult. No matter how ill-mannered, thoughtless, impertinent or unkempt others may be. But she does expect things to be done in a certain way. She has lived a perfectly orderly life with her husband Kent in their rented apartment in Stockholm for the last forty years. But when...
Jenn Ashworth: Into the dark

Jenn Ashworth: Into the dark

I wouldn’t have expected Jenn Ashworth to be nervous at this stage in her career. Perhaps a couple of novels ago she might have worried that the 2010 Betty Trask prize she’d snagged for her debut A Kind of Intimacy had been beginner’s luck. But her 2011 follow-up Cold Light landed her on the BBC Culture Show’s list of the Twelve Best New...
Perfectly formed Mitchellania

Perfectly formed Mitchellania

Pardon my enthusiasm but the master plotter and literary magician has done it again, delivered a thrilling page-turning, mind-bending masterpiece, a novella with all the punch and humanity of his 600-page blockbusters. Slade House is a compact 240 pages, a one-night-stand of a book but still inhabiting the multi-dimensional universe of his previous star turns,...
Siri Hustvedt unmasked

Siri Hustvedt unmasked

Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World is a sparkling tour de force examining ideas about perception and identity. Harriet ‘Harry’ Burden, an artist railing against the New York art establishment that she believes has overlooked her work, undertakes a unique and complicated experiment: hiding behind the fronts of three male artists who exhibit her work as...
Ove does his rounds

Ove does his rounds

It was five to six in the morning when Ove and the cat met for the first time. The cat instantly disliked Ove exceedingly. The feeling was very much reciprocated. Ove had, as usual, got up ten minutes earlier. He could not make head nor tail of people who overslept and blamed it on the...
Ignore silly rules

Ignore silly rules

Jill Dawson’s novels include Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize, Watch Me Disappear, longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, a Richard and Judy Summer Read, and The Tell-Tale Heart, about a recovering heart transplant patient transformed in unexpected ways. In addition she has edited...
Darkness and light

Darkness and light

Where are you now? My parents’ house in Hampstead, north London. Where and when do you do most of your writing? At a desk or kitchen table wherever I am living. If you have one, what is your pre-writing ritual? I set the timer for 180 minutes on a program called SelfControl which blocks most...