"When you think about something, when you remember something, it’s never linear, it’s kaleidoscopic. You remember someone and then another story comes." Négar Djavadi
Posts tagged "UK"
Around the world in 80 trees

Around the world in 80 trees

Trees are one of humanity’s most constant and most varied companions. From India’s sacred banyan tree to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – as well as raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup. In Around the World in 80 Trees, Jonathan Drori uses plant science and natural history...
The truth about love

The truth about love

The Carmelite School for Girls, like every other school in Syria, was plastered with posters of Hero-President Hafez al-Assad, whose mustachioed face was used to ornament school notebooks, various textbooks, and the almost worthless lira coins. In the beginning, and to Patricia’s silent horror, Dunya became a child victim of brainwashing by the state, swallowing...
Other worlds

Other worlds

I love a good dystopia as much as the next reader. Throw me into a destroyed civilisation with a handful of plucky survivors struggling to stay alive, and I’m right in there with the can opener and home-made water filters. But sometimes I struggle to understand how that world came from this one – the...
Beyond the abyss

Beyond the abyss

I was only a few months through an MA in Creative Writing and I already wanted to quit. My partner was driving me to the train station at the time. I had the money in my hand ready to pay for the expensive journey that would get me all the way from South Wales to...
A beginning

A beginning

Everyone loves an origin myth, even if most are exaggerations or convenient distortions, and some of them outright lies. But if you want to know where the idea for my debut novel Arkady came from, I might as well tell you this story. Sometime around 2010, while I was working as a freelance radio producer,...
Daydream believer

Daydream believer

Salley Vickers’ latest novel The Librarian is the story of Sylvia Blackwell, a woman in her twenties in the 1950s who moves to the quaint Wiltshire market town of East Mole to work in a library. When she falls in love with an older man, her interactions with his precocious daughter and her neighbours’ son...
Living on the edge

Living on the edge

In Natasha Carthew’s raw, uncompromising and intensely lyrical first adult novel All Rivers Run Free, we encounter a brittle young woman called Ia Pendilly, who lives with her brutal common-law husband in a caravan on the Cornish coast. When Ia finds an abandoned waif washed up on the shore, she makes a precarious break for...
Lily Bailey: OCD and me

Lily Bailey: OCD and me

As a child and teenager, London-born Lily Bailey suffered from severe obsessive compulsive disorder. From as early as she can remember, there was always a second voice in her head, filling her brain with intrusive, uncomfortable thoughts convincing her she was a bad person liable to bring only pain, grief or disgust to others. She...
Not alone

Not alone

In the playground, fads come and go consistently, without apparent supervision, like waves on a beach. We had Pokémon, we had Furbies; we had aliens encased in strange plastic eggs. Then at some point, when we were five, imaginary friends took off as a craze. People would save spaces at the lunch table for someone...
Riddled words, puzzled lives

Riddled words, puzzled lives

There is something deliciously provocative about a work of literary fiction that begins with the statement “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it”. It is a pronouncement that holds the reader in irresistible tension: will this prove to be the most flawless of narratives or be exposed instead as the most bombastic of bathetic ironies?...