Posts Tagged ‘books’

and then and then and then

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

When Haruki Murakami sat down to write The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, he didn’t have a plan. When Stephen King wrote The Stand, he didn’t have a plan. When Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, she didn’t know what was going to happen or how it would end.
And when I sit down to write my [...]

then we set ourselves on fire

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

I live in a city where it is considered somewhat normal (even, in some quarters, desirable) to write angry confessional poetry and ‘perform’ it to friends and strangers in pubs. The performance usually consists of attempting to impose some kind of rhythm and meaning on a formless string of half-sentences by way of reading [...]

me and mouse.

Friday, February 14th, 2014

It was a real thrill to hear Armistead Maupin read from his new novel, The Days of Anna Madrigal. In fact, it was spellbinding. It was like being in a room with all his characters, all rolled up into this one extremely funny, lovable, compassionate, quick-witted, joyfully acerbic man.
Maupin’s books are a roly-poly [...]

california

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

When I think of California, I picture a family sitting around a table in a riotous garden. Big avocados and glasses of cold white wine. I think of a friend, a writer, who lives there now. I think of the sea, and mountains, and the sound of car doors slamming. The sun always shining. [...]

new treasure

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

When I was a kid, I read three or four books a day. I really loved to read. I read every book in the house. Then I read every book in the school library, and then I read every book in the kids’ section at the public library. I got hold of books that [...]

the sea in birmingham

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I travelled down to Birmingham this weekend to attend the launch of The Sea in Birmingham, an anthology of short stories set in and around the city.  My story is set around some of the city’s hundreds of miles of canals – we have more canals than Venice! That’s a true fact.
I had [...]

and many more

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I was well chuffed to see that I’m one of the ‘many more’ in this anthology.
 

The talented and hardworking Steve Berman told me that my story was a lot cheaper to get than Stephen King’s. (I figured.) Bad Seeds comes out in July, but you can pre-order it here. So, go and [...]

the flame alphabet

Monday, October 15th, 2012

The Flame Alphabet may be the most disturbing book I’ve ever read. The fact that it is beautifully written only adds to the nasty queasy feeling one is left with at the end. The sense of being made complicit in a series of cruel acts. I’ve never read a book which contains so much that [...]

how to paint a dead man, by sarah hall

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Everything that Sarah Hall writes is luminous with genius. Her fourth novel, How to Paint a Dead Man, concerns the intertwining lives of four people, disconnected by place and time. Their stories take place adjacent to one another, are intimately connected, but never share the same temporal geography. For all its vibrancy and currency, its [...]

making strange

Monday, May 7th, 2012

I recently read Alan Garner’s The Stone Book Quartet. It was an incredible experience. I read it in an afternoon, sitting in the kitchen with the dog asleep at my feet, and rain beating against the window. Not that I was aware of my surroundings for long. The voices in those pages spoke directly to [...]