Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Anita Desai interview for The Telegraph

Hello chaps, I've interviewed the excellent novelist Anita Desai for The Telegraph. She has the softest, kindest voice of anyone I've ever had the pleasure of speaking to. She talks about art, nature, poetry and her life. The Artist of Disappearance, her latest work, is a collection of stories that weave into each other, reflect and refract light off each other, and is absorbing, mysterious and beautiful.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sadie Jones in converstation with Philip Womack at the Ham and High Festival

Sadie Jones: You're invited
Hello everyone. I'll be in conversation with Sadie Jones, about her novel The Uninvited Guests, at the Ham and High Literary Festival, on September 11th. You can book tickets here.

I reviewed her book for The Daily Telegraph earlier this year - read it here.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The pleasures of an old friend

Whilst on a visit of a professorial nature, I noticed my first novel, The Other Book, on the kitchen table, amongst copies of Catullus, Horace, and an edition of Latin Metre. Seeing it there was both poignant and pleasurable. It was like meeting an old friend on the train - you only have a few minutes to chat, and it's usually about something silly, but you feel that you've never left them. And so I felt that Edward and Guy Lane Glover and Tristram de la Zouche are not that far away from me after all ... I wonder how many writers re-read their books? Maybe I'll settle down with this at some point this summer, and see how far I - and it - have changed.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Charlie Siem: Interview for PORT

Charlie Siem: Puckish
Hello there, I've interviewed the excellent young violinist Charlie Siem for PORT magazine. He's tearing up the international music stage - check out the piece here. The photos are by Sean Frank Johnson.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

PORT special food issue, guest edited by Fergus Henderson

Are you hungry? You will be when you've read the gourmandish new edition of PORT magazine, which is a foodie special. It's bursting with brilliant stuff - Fergus Henderson, of St John Bread and Wine, guest edits, and there's pieces by Simon Armitage, an interview with Nigella Lawson, and some fish photography that's beautiful and eerie. My piece, about Ruth Rogers of the River Café, isn't online yet, so get hold of the weighty and impressive print edition - and have a look at the preview video here.

The Lower River by Paul Theroux: Daily Telegraph

Hearts of darkness
Good morning, chaps. On this grey and dull morning, inject a bit of the swampiness and hotness of Africa into your lives - read my review of Paul Theroux's The Lower River, which is set (mostly) in Africa, on The Daily Telegraph. The picture is of Rupert Graves and Kristin Scott Thomas, who star in the film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust - which is one of the literary grandparents of this novel; as is Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Literary Review, June issue: Children's Round up

What ho. I've done my summer round up for Literary Review - the June issue is out now, with a beautiful cover featuring Edmund Spenser. There's plenty of goodness in the magazine, including a review of Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies. And a book about The Only Way is Essex. Or TOWIE, as I believe it's known. I've reviewed a feast of writers - Eva Ibbotson, Frances Hardinge, Conrad Mason, Derek Keilty, Philip Reeve, Prentice and Weil, Sally Nicholls, Celia Rees, and Gill Lewis. Check it out, chums. It's not online, so haul yourself to an actual real life newsagent. You won't regret it.