Filed under 21st century literature

Healthcare USA in 2009

Healthcare USA in 2009

I just found this feature from the Independent newspaper of 15 August 2009 which ran over 3 pages. The article shocked the newspaper and it shocked me enough to keep the whole piece. In the wake of the recent election it is worth looking at it again. Why do the Republicans hate – or fear … Continue reading

On Translation 

When the news broke on Wednesday & twitter fell silent I turned to John Berger’s ‘Confabulations ‘ on translating into other languages: “We read and reread the words of the original text in order to penetrate through them, to reach, to touch the vision or experience which prompted them. We then gather up what we … Continue reading

Writing Non Fiction

Writing Non Fiction

Writing fiction or non fiction requires the ability to get inside a story, and inside the heads of characters. But non fiction has to go further – it has to be checkable, you need to protect yourself from challenges. But the process of research and writing can change you for the better. I am a … Continue reading

Food and Language

Food and Language

Indian food has become hugely popular in Britain, but it was not always so. when the first immigrants from the huge sub-continent arrived, their food was too spicy for local palates. Here’s a great story from Stuart Maconie on how he discovered this cuisine, from his book Pies and Prejudice, In Search of the North: … Continue reading

A Life Discarded by Alexander Masters

This is a book that sounded intriguing – the tagline was ‘148 Diaries Found in a Skip’. Literary giant Margaret Drabble and historian Kate Sumerscale provided high praise, but I struggled to finish it. Masters discovered the mouldy and tattered diaries in 2001, full of dense handwriting and occasional drawings which began in 1952 and … Continue reading

Cameron and The Smiths

Some time ago,  former members of The Smiths, Morrissey and Johnny Marr “banned” the Prime Minister David Cameron from liking the band. Marr said: “Stop saying that you like the Smiths. No you don’t. I forbid you to like it.” I can understand their anger at the Prime Minister,but we live in a free country, … Continue reading

Women in Publishing

On Friday an article in the i was headed ‘Publishing industry does not take women’s fiction seriously enough’. It featured former restauranteur turned novelist Prue Leith who claimed the industry underrates women’s writing. She claimed that if women write about love, it is categorised as commercial or women’s fiction, whereas if it’s by a man … Continue reading

Words Invented by Authors

Here’s a great post from the Oxford English Dictionaries with some surprises for anyone who thinks they know their coins from their coinages. 15 words invented by authors


This is an account from Akenfield, by a young blacksmith who had won awards for his ornamental work: “We all watch the telly news- everyone does. Television had changed the village people. Like the plays. I am alway on the look-out for scenes showing ornamental ironwork. You may not have noticed, but telly plays are … Continue reading