Archive for May, 2017

  • The makings of an odd book by Tom Jackson, author of ‘Postcard From The Past’

    It must seem like one of the odder ideas for a book – page after page of old postcards, with just a sentence or two below each image as a caption.  But I can explain.

    About a year ago, on a quiet day at the office, I started posting postcards on Twitter. Not for their collectable beauty or even for their historic interest, but simply because I had one or two knocking about the house and the messages intrigued me. But as soon as I saw them pop up on my phone, I was hooked. I could see that, presented this way, the messages on the most ordinary old postcards were loaded with a humour and poignancy that, despite their age, is startlingly fresh. Something like gold glitters behind the faded ink and smudged postmarks.

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  • Laline Paull introduces The Ice

    • May 31, 2017 • Tags: , , ,

    I first visited Svalbard in 2013, after forming the sudden conviction that I must see go to the Arctic and see the ice.  I certainly didn’t have a story in mind, but something was tugging at me to go and have a look.  Rubbernecking, maybe: see the ice while it’s still there.   Polar bears are all very well, but that wasn’t my focus.  I didn’t actually have one, which was relaxing.  I was supposed to be on holiday.

    The epiphany came when I was temporarily alone on deck – staring out at the peculiar beauty of a slow, semi-frozen satiny black sea full of huge white mosaic pieces of ice.  I heard singing.  Or rather, the sound of the ice bumping and creaking, I knew that was what it was – but I could also literally hear a strange a-tonal but very beautiful sound coming out of the water itself, as if the ice had a voice and was speaking to me in a tongue I had never heard.  I was enchanted as if in a wild fairytale, and very sad to have to turn back when the captain said we might risk being stuck if it moved in and locked around the ship.   It had a life, non-human and non-animal, but powerfully present.  And I felt it.

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  • Food From 4th: Green spears – Glossy mash by Nigel Slater

    • May 30, 2017 • Tags: , , , , ,

    May 28

    A pile of mash, so loose and silky it is on the verge of becoming a puree. The season’s asparagus, grilled and glistening with olive oil. The bright notes of lemon zest.Nigel Slater

    A treat today, but something I could happily eat all sunmer long. By the way, I use Maris Pipers for this very soft mash, but a waxy-fleshed potato such as Charlotte would be good too; unorthodox, but capable of giving an even smoother, more velvety mash.

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  • 4thcoming: Tom Jackson, author of ‘Postcard from the Past’

    The 4thcoming series is all about introducing you to our authors.  If you’ve ever wondered what your favourite 4th Estate author is currently reading, listening to or what their writing ritual is, then we’ve got all those answers for you.

    Name: Tom Jackson

    Postcard from the Past

    What’s it about?

    In Postcard From The Past, Tom Jackson has gathered a collection of the funniest, weirdest and most moving real messages from the backs of old postcards.

     

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  • 4thcoming: Michael Frank, author of ‘The Mighty Franks’

    • May 11, 2017 • Tags: , ,

    The 4thcoming series is all about introducing you to our authors.  If you’ve ever wondered what your favourite 4th Estate author is currently reading, listening to or what their writing ritual is, then we’ve got all those answers for you.

    Name: Michael Frank

    What’s it about?

    A story at once extremely strange and entirely familiar – about families, innocence, art and love. This hugely enjoyable, totally unforgettable memoir is a classic in the making. ‘My aunt called our two families the Mighty Franks. But, she said, you and I, Lovey, are a thing apart. The two of us have pulled our wagons up to a secret campsite. We know how lucky we are. We’re the most fortunate people in the world to have found each other, isn’t it so?’

    Michael Frank’s upbringing was unusual to say the least. His aunt was his father’s sister and his uncle his mother’s brother. The two couples lived blocks apart in the hills of LA, with both grandmothers in an apartment together nearby

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