"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "Scotland"
Morrissey built my bookshelf

Morrissey built my bookshelf

I didn’t read a lot as a child and, to a certain extent, I still don’t. Time being the most valuable commodity there is, ideas for my own writing – and the things that inspire me creatively – usually come from other sources; from visual media and, above all, from music. I’m someone who gets...
Land of the bens and the glens

Land of the bens and the glens

The Scottish clan that I belong to – or would belong to if it were now anything more than a sentimental myth – was broken a great many generations ago by a party of MacDonalds, who hunted down the last chief of my clan, captured him, refused him mercy, saying that a man who had...
Connections

Connections

When I arrived at Rose Cottage, I made sure broadband was working before the hot water. I’m medieval with Wi-Fi: concentrating on the fundamentals of making fire and baking bread while becoming increasingly reliant on my smartphone. Wherever I am, I spend most of my time with a laptop online, so I might as well...
Amy Liptrot: Wired and watchful

Amy Liptrot: Wired and watchful

Amy Liptrot’s astonishing debut memoir The Outrun is a brutally honest tale of inglorious addiction in hipster-central Hackney, and a lyrical meditation on the long path to recovery after she washes up back home on the clifftops of Orkney. Plunging into nature on the remotest islands, she dissects her desperate descent into alcoholism and the...
Made-up worlds (and a worldie maid)

Made-up worlds (and a worldie maid)

It’s a bit ridiculous to choose only ten examples of how world mythology has inspired popular culture, as the examples range into the thousands across books, films, TV, comics, games, music, fashion, and more. Any Top 10 can only be an intensely personal one, so that’s what I’ve chosen: ten of my personal favourites, taken...
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...
An instinct to play

An instinct to play

Very few species of animal habitually play after they are adult; they are concerned with eating, sleeping or procreating, or with the means to one or other of those ends. But otters are one of the few exceptions to this rule; right through their lives they spend much of their time in play that does...
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...
Andrea Gillies: Sirens call

Andrea Gillies: Sirens call

Andrea Gillies’ second novel opens with Nina Findlay recovering in a hospital in a tiny postcard-perfect Greek island. She’s lucky to be alive. She’s survived a head-on collision with a minibus with only a broken leg, whereas her life just before the accident was in tatters following the implosion of her relationship with two brothers....
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...