Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Mazes in The London Magazine

When I had just left Oxford, I spent, as many new graduates do, many weeks sending out things to magazines. I still have the list: it encompasses a whole page of A4 in my journal. Some of them I sent CVs, begging for work experience or internships; others I sent bad short stories and worse poetry. One of the ones I dreamed about publishing in was The London Magazine. From the first great age of magazines, and founded in 1783, this was the place where Thomas de Quincey wrote about opium-eating; Shelley, Hazlitt and Keats all contributed; later on it was a home for Eliot, Auden and Waugh, and later still William Boyd, Nadine Gordimer and Derek Walcott. Beautifully produced (I was told by Jeremy Lewis that it was done from a shed in the editor's garden), and full of interesting things that were not pegged to the general round of public relations and trends, it seemed one of the pinnacles of literary life. So I am absolutely delighted to have a piece in the June/July issue, on mazes, which is also a review of Charlotte Higgins and Henry Eliot's books on the subject. There's plenty of lovely things in the mag, too, including a poem by Frieda Hughes, short stories and essays. Their website is here.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

June Children's Book Round up for Literary Review 2019

My latest children's book round up for the June issue of Literary Review.

Books reviewed:

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black

By Marcus and Julian Sedgwick

Walker Books 320pp £12.99

The Good Thieves

By Katherine Rundell

Bloomsbury 336pp £12.99 

The Time Travel Diaries

By Caroline Lawrence

Piccadilly Press 272pp £6.99

Diver’s Daughter

By Patrice Lawrence

Scholastic 176pp £6.99 

The Closest Thing to Flying

By Gill Lewis

Oxford University Press 240pp £6.99 

The Unexpected Find

By Toby Ibbotson

Scholastic 400pp £6.99

The Descenders

By Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Doubleday 528pp £14.99


Friday, 10 May 2019

The Porpoise by Mark Haddon: review

Mark Haddon's latest book reworks the story of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. I've reviewed The Porpoise here for The Independent.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes: Review

My review of Natalie Haynes' latest book, A Thousand Ships, which is a retelling of the Trojan War from female perspectives, is in this week's Spectator.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Tolkien & Christianity

I've written about the new biopic of J R R Tolkien, Tolkien, for The Independent. Read it here.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan: review

I've reviewed Ian McEwan's latest novel, Machines Like Me, for The Independent. Read it here.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Memories of the Future by Siri Hustvedt: review

My review of Siri Hustvedt's Memories of the Future is in The Independent. You can read it here. A while ago I reviewed her novel, The Summer Without Men, here.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Lanny by Max Porter: review

My review of Lanny by Max Porter, in The Independent. Read it here.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Children's Book Round up for Literary Review, March 2019

My latest children's book round up is in the March issue of Literary Review, available here. It features:

Sunny and the Ghosts by Alison Moore
Enchantée by Gita Trelease
The Steam Whistle Theatre Company by Vivian French.

Monday, 25 February 2019


One of the nicest things about writing is receiving copies in translation.

I'm very proud to announce the arrival of my entire DARKENING PATH trilogy in Romanian, published by Unicart (pictured here), with beautiful embossed covers that catch the light when you open the books.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

THE ARROW OF APOLLO reaches 100 %

Apollo and Sarpedon
Some good news: THE ARROW OF APOLLO, my children's book based on Greek myth, has reached 100 % of its funding target with Unbound. I'm absolutely delighted, and can't wait to see the finished product, which will be a beautiful hardback.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed and shared.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley

I've reviewed Tessa Hadley's fine new novel, Late in the Day, for The Independent.

Previous reviews I've written of Hadley's novels: The Past for The Independent on Sunday

The London Train for The Financial Times

Married Love for The Spectator

Friday, 1 February 2019

The Arrow of Apollo hits 90 %

"Apollo pursuing Daphne" by Tiepolo
Some good news from the crowdfunding wars: "The Arrow of Apollo" is now 92 % funded. This has been a long, slow journey, and now it's almost there. To celebrate, I'll be regularly posting paintings of Apollo over on Twitter and Tumblr. 

You can read more about The Arrow of Apollo on the Unbound website, here. 

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds: Review

I've reviewed Adam Foulds' latest novel, Dream Sequence for The Spectator. (Many years ago I reviewed his marvellous The Quickening Maze for Literary Review.)