‘I find it very difficult to distinguish between life and fiction’
It is a very exciting moment when you realise that the opportunity has come to read the innermost thoughts of an author whose work you so admire, perfectly nestled amongst the finest examples of their writing.
Continue reading Let Me Tell You Shirley Jackson
Three books that have coloured my May. In brief: Continue reading Take Three Books
Literature is full of ‘doubles’: characters who seem to move in tandem; or twins, whose familial bond and similarities are frequently employed for farcical effect. In Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, for example, the sense of a clear identity becomes a tangled mess as Viola, in disguise as a boy called Cesario, falls in love with Duke Orsino, who loves Olivia; Viola has to deliver Orsino’s love letters to Olivia, who quickly falls in love with her as Cesario. Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother who she thought had died, enters on stage, and Olivia is soon smitten with him.
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Continue reading Legoland by Gerard Woodward
Regular readers (hello Mum!) will know how much I love short stories. So imagine my dancing feet when I heard that Penguin were publishing two volumes of collections of short stories this month.
Continue reading The Penguin Book of the British Short Story
Short stories are my absolute favourite form of literature (and writing – joint with poetry!). Utterly cluttered are the marginalia of every short story I consume/inhale. The gentle and explosive rhythm of the narrative; the way the plot unravels in the story; the twist potential; the preoccupation with time and the ability to give the impression of time expanding as the story is contracting; the heavy, heady significance of every carefully chosen word; the fact that you can be absorbed in several stories within an hour of reading…
Continue reading Short Stories