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Whats new: 16 May 2022 - What's new 16 May 2022
  • ‘I never planned to be a writer at all. For years, maybe even today, sometimes I think, "What exactly am I going to do with my life What is my career going to be? I'm only 80, for God's sake!... I am fascinated by endurance. Human beings really do lead lives of quiet desperation. It's...

Since I was a young child I've been fascinated by the identity people get from their families, good and bad, being part of a ‘gang'. The idea that for some people being in a large family gives them protection from the real world.

You would think by now I would know how to make a book of poems. Apparently, I have written six books of poetry. But books are still a mystery to me. I begin, as most poets do, with one poem at a time. I make one poem and then stare at the terrifyingly bright world and convince myself I will...

Many years ago, Milwaukee-based book influencer Cree Myles first picked up Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and found the validation she didn't know she needed. The book affirmed many of her experiences moving through the world as a Black woman.

The bells of St. Mary-Le-Bow toll eleven o'clock. The narrow streets of London's East End are strangely deserted. Out of the swirling fog comes the clip-clop of horseshoes on cobble. A carriage appears. I squint, struggling to decipher the crest on the carriage door. From within the passenger...

During the recent pandemic, when children were going hungry because their parents were destitute, it took the moral authority of a 23-year-old footballer to get them fed. In earlier times it was the job of poets to summon our better angels, in the face of such obvious need.

How difficult it seems, gazing back just seventy years to the late 1940s and 50s, to truly appreciate what a confusing and fraught era it was for our grandparents. The Soviet Union, recently an ally in the Second World War, was increasingly viewed as a threat with Stalin's imposition of the Iron...

Never give up

I still have my first rejection letter from Mills and Boon. They were so encouraging, I tried again, and my next book was accepted. I had studied a law degree, and spent years in a job I hated, as a computer programme manager. Finally, I took redundancy, and that gave me the...

After all these years I can actually call myself a professional author. I've collected rejection slips, laboured in magazine writing, perfected my craft and built an audience until Lo! An agent came seeking me. Wanted to know about my book ideas. Wanted to represent me to editors. And proceeded...

The Flavia Albia series is a spin-off from your original Marcus Flaco series. Why did you end the Falco series and switch to his adopted daughter, Flavia?

Publishing is facing "industry-wide burnout" according to a survey conducted by The Bookseller, which revealed 89% of staffers responding to the survey had experienced stress during the course of their work over the last year, while 69% reported burnout.

I have just been to the Bath festival of books to talk with my esteemed colleague John Crace about his book A Farewell to Calm.

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